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Life Ball fundraiser marks 20 years in fight against AIDS

posted 20 May 2012, 02:10 by Mpelembe   [ updated 20 May 2012, 02:11 ]

The 20th Life Ball charity fundraiser is held in Vienna and attended by actress Milla Jovovich and former United States president Bill Clinton.

The 20th Life Ball, Europe's biggest AIDS charity fundraiser, was held on Saturday (May 19) in Vienna.
Vienna's Life Ball, first started in 1993 and held every year in front of the historic City Hall building, grew over the years into one of the highlights of the Vienna ball season, attracting international celebrities and tens of thousands of festive Viennese alike, who show up at the event dressed in colourful costumes.

"For me it's Life Ball number seven. I come here since 2005, and I think we should be doing this for 20 more years, 20 more years at least. Because it's really the coolest party on the planet," guest at Life Ball Ralf Gruenetal said.

American actress Milla Jovovich appeared at the event as an ambassador for the American AIDS research foundation amfAR, an organisation which became Life Ball co-organizer in 2006.

"To be here for the 20th anniversary is just unbelievable. This is one of the most unique and fabulous events ever," actress Milla Jovovich said.

Life Ball founder Gary Kessler addressed the audience and used the opportunity to remind everyone of the alarming AIDS death toll.

"In this last hour 333 people died from AIDS, 40 of them were kids. And it will be the same in the next hour and the hour after that, and it will be the same every single day," Life Ball founder Gary Kessler said.

Another celebrity who appeared at the event was former president of United States Bill Clinton, who came to represent his Clinton Health Access Initiative project. Clinton has been a regular guest at the event since 2007.

"The rest of the world should be grateful to the people of Austria for continuing to support the AIDS Life Ball because the war against AIDS is far from over," former president of United States Bill Clinton said.

The event itself traditionally includes a fashion show with creations designed by some of the biggest designer names in the industry. This year its 20th anniversary was marked with fashion designs from the event's past two decades, with creations by renowned designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Gianfranco Ferre and Vivienne Westwood.

"Ten years ago, we have been there (at Life Ball) with our kids. So this is our third time, and it was amazing, amazing to be there. And I'm very proud to live in this city. And the party is one (thing), but we are just here to think of the thousands of people who are going through AIDS. We have a party, a very nice party, we will rock it, but we think always of the kids and the people who have AIDS, and so, let's have a nice party," guest at Life Ball Sylvia Hanold said.