Sheryl Lee Ralph and Charlize Theron have been named as honorees at the Elizabeth Taylor Ball to End AIDS.
The Tony Award-nominated “Dreamgirls” star and Academy Award-winning beauty will be honored during the annual fundraising gala for the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation on September 15 at West Hollywood Park in California.
Both actresses and humanitarians are the founders of non-profit organizations based in Los Angeles that help in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic; Ralph’s the Diva Foundation and Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project.
“The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation looks forward to bringing together our generous supporters again this year and recognizing our worthy honorees as we continue the legacy of our founder Elizabeth Taylor’s HIV activism,” said Executive Director Cathy Brown.
Ralph, who currently stars on the ABC sitcom “Abbott Elementary,” launched his foundation in honor of his many friends lost to the deadly disease during his days on The Great White Way in the 1980s.
“When I entered the bright lights of Broadway as an original member of the ‘Dreamgirls’ troupe, 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. . “When I was young, I was forever changed by witnessing such an ugly moment in America. See how marginalized people were left out of the AIDS conversation. And so, in a commitment to raising awareness, I created the divinely inspired and victoriously conscious Diva Foundation as a living memorial to the many friends I have lost to illness.”
Theron, who founded her organization in 2007, said the fight against HIV/AIDS has always been close to her heart since she was a child in South Africa.
“Witnessing firsthand the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic fueled my commitment to raising awareness and funding the cause and starting my organization, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which focuses on health, education and the safety of young people living in South Africa,” the “Monster” star shared. “I am 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 the late Hollywood legend, the organization launched the dance on its 30th anniversary last year. The inaugural honorees were Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning powerhouse Billy Porter, America’s leading 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 live auction in partnership with Christie’s, allowing attendees the opportunity to view exclusive items from the Archive. by Elizabeth Taylor.