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Annie Lennox, Bob Geldof KBE and Judy McGrath Honored at 2008 YouthAIDS Benefit Gala

October 6, 2008

Washington, Hollywood and music elite were on hand Friday night at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner for the 2008 “Power of Music” YouthAIDS Gala. Global Ambassador Ashley Judd hosted the star-studded affair which raised over $1.2 million in the fight against the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The event was presented by Salamander Hospitality, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., Viacom and MTV Networks. A private reception for VIPs was hosted by Cartier and Hard Rock and Gibson Guitar Corporation sponsored the after party. Sheila Johnson & the Honorable Bill Newman, and Marcelle & Simon Cooper served as the Gala Co-Chairs.

With Sharon Osbourne as Mistress of Ceremonies, the gala honored well known music activist Bob Geldof KBE, AIDS activist and Grammy Award-winning musician Annie Lennox and Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks.

“It’s an honor to recognize these three incredibly influential activists in the global fight against AIDS,” said Ashley Judd, host of the YouthAIDS gala. “Annie, Bob and Judy all possess a relentless passion for communicating awareness, prevention, and change through the use of music.”

The 2008 YouthAIDS’ gala theme, “The Power of Music,” celebrates the enormous influence of music in driving social change. Many YouthAIDS programs focus on music and the powerful role it plays in educating populations, breaking down cultural barriers, and reinforcing behavior change.

“Put simply, the statistics on HIV/AIDS are staggering. The music industry has led the way in raising awareness of global poverty, disease and has helped to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS,” said Kate Roberts. “We are especially pleased to have many with us this evening who embrace YouthAIDS’ mission of using universal vehicles like music to halt the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.”

Additional highlights of the gala included a performance by Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp. The gala also featured celebrity attendees such as Anna Kournikova, Ms. Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza, British comedian & The Daily Show writer/correspondent John Oliver and graffiti artist/fashion designer Claw Money. A live auction was also held featuring donated items including Cartier diamond earrings valued at $25,000, several packages from The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. including private airplane trips, golfing with U.S. Open Champions, helicopter & hot-air balloon rides, and spa treatments at several luxury properties around the world. The highest bid of the evening was $19,000 for a “modern Arabic adventure” which included a luxurious 6-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, a desert safari and sightseeing by helicopter and hot-air balloon.

ABOUT THE HONOREES

Annie Lennox: Renowned musician and AIDS activist, Annie Lennox achieved global attention in the 1980s with the music group the Eurythmics before pursuing a successful solo career.

Bob Geldof KBE: Singer, songwriter, actor and political activist, Robert Geldof KBE became famous as a member of the rock band The Boomtown Rats. His most notable achievements include organizing Live Aid and Live 8.

Judy McGrath: Judy McGrath is the Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks, a position she has held since July 2004. Prior to that appointment, she was the MTV Networks Group President responsible for MTV, MTV2, VH1, CMT: Country Music Television and Comedy Central. Programs championed by McGrath include the Peabody Award-winning Choose or Lose campaign, as well as the Emmy award-winning Fight For Your Rights series, including “Take a Stand Against Violence,”"Take a Stand Against Discrimination,” and “Protect Yourself,” an AIDS Awareness campaign on MTV.

ABOUT YOUTHAIDS

YouthAIDS, an education and prevention initiative of PSI, uses media, pop culture, music, theatre and sport to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products, services and care. www.youthaids.org

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 MEDIA CONTACTS:  YouthAIDS: Marshall Stowell Email Contact 202-572-4619  Qorvis Communications: Elissa Dodge Email Contact 202-683-3152  

SOURCE: YouthAIDS




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