The Elton John AIDS Foundation celebrates 21 Years with Woodside The End Of Summer Party

Rebecca Wang, Sir Ian Mackellen, Ellie Goulding and David Walliams were among those attending the dazzling Woodside summer party hosted by Elton John and David Furnish to mark the 21st birthday of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish opened Woodside, their Windsor home on Thursday September 4th 2014 to host friends, supporters and A-list celebrities for the End of Summer Party.

The exclusive party took place in the landscaped and specially decorated gardens of the expansive Queen Anne style mansion which lies adjacent to the grounds of Windsor Castle. Conceived as a new and unique fundraising event to mark the 21st birthday and achievements of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the intimate gathering welcomed friends and supporters to enjoy superb food, entertainment and music against a stunning backdrop of flower bedecked statues and extraordinary lighting effects.

Among the long-term supporters of the Elton John AIDS Foundation were world renowned actor Sir Ian Mackellen, and Hollywood executive producer Rebecca Wang, who expressed her support and sentiments in a “birthday” message for the foundation.

“Congratulations on the shining example to us all of your courage, dedication and persistence for an AIDS-free world,” she said. “The phenomenal global achievement of your HIV treatment, prevention and education programmes is exemplary. I am proud to support the Elton John AIDS Foundation and its amazing work.”

In association with Chopard, and supported by Grey Goose and Audi, the evening, requesting a dress code of summertime chic, opened with a champagne cocktail reception in the exquisite gardens, where a stellar array of British talent including Gary Barlow, Tom Odell, James Blunt, Chrissie Hynde, Alfie Boe and Elton John gave a series of fabulous “pop-up performances”.

Following a warm welcome from Elton John, guests then proceeded to the dining area, passing tableaux of models wearing priceless Chopard jewellery who posed motionless against statues garlanded in roses and hydrangeas.

A classic English meal paved the way for the live auction. This is a regular feature of the Foundation’s fundraising events, and, as always, offered an abundance of exclusive and singular lots, including a kiss from actress Elizabeth Hurley which fetched £50,000. A first for this event was guests and those at home being able to pledge funds or messages of support via texts which were beamed up on a screen for all those present.

The evening culminated with the unveiling of an incredible nightclub which included a performance from Cirque du Soleil, and a live set from special guest DJ Fatboy Slim, where guests danced late into the night. 

The End of Summer Party joins other superlative events regularly organized by the Foundation to further its work toward “creating an AIDS-free future.” In the US, EJAF’s annual Academy Awards Viewing Party in Hollywood has developed its own reputation as one of the most prestigious events held during Oscars week, while in the UK the summer White Tie and Tiara Ball has long been favorably documented in the media.

The foundation also holds “Enduring Vision” evenings in New York, which honour those who have shown outstanding dedication or made special contributions to advance the foundation’s cause.

About the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Established by the musician in 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation is one of the largest privately-funded institutions for AIDS in the world. In 20 years it has raised over £193 million ($300 million) to support more than 1,200 projects across four continents. Funding has helped leverage a further £228 million ($355 million) for programme partners, enabling them to reach millions of people affected by or at risk for HIV.

About Us

Rebecca Wang is an entrepreneur, executive film producer and former psychotherapist who is passionate about all forms of artistic expression. She is also keen in her desire to bring effective support to projects focusing on health and humanitarian issues. Wang spent her early years in Asia, and has since lived in the US and Europe. Having graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, she has practiced at various leading institutions such as the University of Californian as well as several elementary schools, specializing in family, children, and couples counseling. It was the realization of the healing role of the arts in therapy, which was the catalyst for her to pursue her own creative dreams through filmmaking. Inspired to expand the reach of her work, in 2011 she made her production debut as executive producer with the Hollywood feature film Passion Play, which was selected for the prestigious 37th International Toronto Film Festival. Passion Play starred BAFTA winner Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray, both of whom had been previously nominated for Academy Awards. Wang is based in London where her appreciation of all arts is channeled into a wide range of leading organisations and arts venues in the capital. She is member of the Academy Circle for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), a Director of Circle for the Victoria and Albert Museum, and patron to the National, Tate Modern and Serpentine Galleries. Recognising the power of music’s properties for healing has led her to be a patron to the Royal College of Music. She also has a broad interest in design, photography and fashion. In addition to her passion for all art forms, she is also committed to projects that focus on health and humanitarian issues and the global efforts against AIDS, supporting two of the foremost charities in this field. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), which was established by the musician in 1992, is one of the largest privately-funded institutions in the world working to overcome AIDS. Since its beginning the Foundation has prioritized the pivotal areas of treatment, prevention and education, and raised over $300 million to support more than 1,200 projects world-wide. Wang has been benefactor over two consecutive years (2011, 2012) to the EJAF’s Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party, the most high-profile and largest fundraising event held in Hollywood on Oscar night. In 2014 and 2015 she has resumed her support as patron for the event, a position she also held for their New York Enduring Vision benefit in October 2013. This event recognizes outstanding contribution in the campaign against AIDS and in 2013 honored Hilary Clinton with the Founder’s Award for her tireless work in the field. amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, plays a leading global role in the area of research, treatment and education for AIDS. It attracts and fosters support and ongoing patronage from many leading public figures in the fields of film, fashion and music, including the late Elizabeth Taylor, Karl Lagerfeld and David Bowie. The non-profit organization can also count on endorsement from those whose actions carry global influence, such as former US President Bill Clinton. With Piaget and M.A.C Viva Glam, Wang acted as a sponsor for the 2012 Paris Inspiration Gala. She has also joined with others including amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole as Chairs for both the Los Angeles and New York Inspiration Galas in 2013 and 2014. Among those who have received awards at these events to honor their long term work and committed stance towards AIDS have been Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, philanthropist Aileen Getty, fashion legend Valentino, actress Goldie Hawn, singer Jennifer Lopez, and film director and designer Tom Ford. Beyond the worlds of arts and humanitarian issues, Wang also has genuine concern for animals, particularly for dogs who have been maltreated, and supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). The RSPCA is the oldest organization for animal welfare in the world and since its foundation in 1824 has played an active role in both the creation of animal welfare legislation and in its enforcement. Rebecca continues to focus on ventures reflecting creativity across all art forms and initiatives which further her desire for a greater understanding of humanitarian issues.