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Elton John AIDS Foundation to Honor Patricia Hearst, Sheryl Crow to Perform

Event will also honor Ford Foundation's Darren Walker and DDG's Joe McMillan; last year's gala featured the last public performance by Aretha Frankin.

In its 26th annual ceremony on Nov. 5, the Elton John AIDS Foundation will honor Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, philanthropist Patricia Hearst and DDG investment and real estate firm chairman/CEO Joe McMillan with EJAF’s Enduring Vision Award.

Sheryl Crow will be the special musical guest, and Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, will be the featured speaker. “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King will host the event.

Last year’s gala featured the last public performance by Aretha Franklin, who played a stately nine-song set that was frequently mentioned in statements and comments after her passing last month.

Patricia Hearst is indeed the granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst, who was kidnapped by the radical Symbionese Liberation Army in the 1970s and was imprisoned for her activity with the group. After serving nearly two years her sentence was commuted by President Jimmy Carter, and she has since become a philanthropist with a particular focus on children suffering from AIDS.

“At this time of great uncertainty in the world, EJAF’s work is more important than ever, and we remain steadfastly committed to addressing the unmet needs of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and fighting stigma as a major driver of the global AIDS epidemic,” said EJAF Founder Sir Elton John. “We believe everyone living with HIV/AIDS should have immediate access to high quality medical care and all people at risk of HIV should be empowered with the best knowledge and tools available to prevent transmission no matter who they are, who they love, what they believe, where they come from, or what they do.”

American Airlines, Bvlgari, Robert K. Kraft, and the Leonard and Judy Lauder Fund are the presenting sponsors for this year’s gala. Co-sponsors are Gilead Sciences and The John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation. Gold sponsors are the Hearst Foundation and MAC Viva Glam. Silver sponsors are Salah Bachir and Jacob Yerex, Merck, and James L. and Margo Nederlander.

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