Sheryl Lee Ralph and Charlize Theron have been named as the honorees for the Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS.
The Tony Award-nominated “Dreamgirls” star and Academy Award-winning beauty will be awarded during the annual fundraising gala for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation on Sept. 15 event at West Hollywood Park in California.
Both actresses and humanitarians are the founders of Los Angeles-headquartered nonprofit organizations which help in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic; Ralph’s the Diva Foundation, and the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project.
“The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation looks forward to bringing our generous supporters together again this year and recognizing our worthy honorees as we continue the legacy of HIV activism of our founder Elizabeth Taylor,” executive director Cathy Brown said.
Ralph, who currently stars on the breakout ABC sitcom “Abbott Elementary,” launched her foundation in honor of her many friends lost to the deadly disease during her days on The Great White Way in the 1980s.
“As I stepped into the bright lights of Broadway as an original company member of ‘Dreamgirls,’ AIDS made an entrance that would be devastating up and down Broadway blowing out the flame of life like candles on a birthday cake,” she said. “As a young person, I was forever changed standing witness to such an ugly time in America. Seeing how marginalized people were left out of the AIDS conversation. And so in a commitment to raise awareness, I created the divinely inspired, victoriously aware Diva Foundation as a living memorial to the many friends I lost to the disease.”
Theron, who founded her organization in 2007, said the fight against HIV/AIDS was always close to her heart since childhood in South Africa.
“Witnessing the gravity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic first-hand fueled my commitment to raise awareness and funding for the cause and start my organization, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which focuses on the health, education, and safety of youth living in Southern Africa,” the “Monster” star shared. “I’m incredibly grateful to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation for recognizing my work by honoring me with The Elizabeth Taylor Commitment to End AIDS Award at this year’s gala.”
Founded in 1991 by late Hollywood legend, the organization launched the ball in for its 30th anniversary last year. Inaugural honorees were Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning powerhouse Billy Porter, America’s top expert on infectious diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, amfAR and AIDS policy and advocacy expert Sandra Thurman.
Sponsored by Gilead Sciences with support from American Airlines, this year’s event will feature a dinner, live performance, and a live auction in partnership with Christie’s, allowing attendees to get a chance to view exclusive items from the Elizabeth Taylor Archive.
Source by www.nydailynews.com