Saturday, September 20, 2008 was the scene of a spectacular charitable event to make inroads on eradicating the devastating impact of pediatric AIDS. The venerable Park Avenue Armory in New York City was transformed into a joyous children’s and parents’ wonderland for the celebrated annual Kids for Kids Celebrity Carnival to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Parents, children and celebrities were treated to a blissful afternoon of musical entertainment, arcade games, art projects, rock climbing, face painting, celebrity and Disney character story-readings, cookie and Bin-Go bag decorating, organic tee shirt designing, teen superlounge with Sony TV’s, cell phone bling, manicures, rock video games, and so much more. Central to the gala was a sumptuous banquet featuring scrumptious gourmet food from over 45 of New York’s finest restaurants. The event was jubilant, punctuated by interactions among excited guests and many popular celebrities, including actress Leighton Meester of “Gossip Girl,” supermodel and actor, Tyson Beckford, actress Kelly Rutherford, also currently of “Gossip Girl,” actress Aida Turturro of “The Sopranos,” famed photographer Annie Liebovitz, painter John Currin, child actor Josh Flitter (the next “Ace Ventura”), Emmy-winning actor (for “Will and Grace”) Bobby Cannavale, among so many others.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, created in 1988 in honor of Elizabeth Glaser, who contracted the disease because of a blood transfusion and unknowingly passed it on to her children, has been a leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS. The foundation has positively impacted the lives of more then 4.8 million women in developing countries, provided millions of dollars in grants to leading scientists and clinicians, and prolonged the lives of over 198,000 people with HIV through treatment initiatives. Saturday’s Carnival is expected to raise nearly two million dollars to support the Foundation and its laudable efforts. The marvelous event proved yet again that when charitable work and good times are combined, everyone wins. For more information on the foundation, please visit www.pedaids.org.