Philanthropist Gives $1 Million to Elton John AIDS Foundation

By Nicholas Cimarusti

Originally published on Advocate.com November 02 2013 2:27 AM ET

The Elton John AIDS Foundation announced it has received a $1 million gift from philanthropist Lily Safra in support of the Foundation's grant-making programs. Safra made her donation at the foundation's 12th annual An Enduring Vision benefit gala on October 15.

Since 1999, Safra has chaired the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, founded by her late husband Edmond J. Safra. Her foundation supports global projects related to education, science and medicine, religion, culture, and humanitarian relief. In May of 2012, Safra's Jewels of Hope auction gave $1 million gifts to The Elton John AIDS Foundation as well as 32 other charitable organizations.

"I feel very privileged to be able to support the life-saving work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation," said Safra, "not only because Elton and David are such dear personal friends, but most importantly because I know how vital EJAF's grants are to service providers and advocates working on the front lines of this epidemic. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring this epidemic under control if we act now. I am so proud to continue my support for this extraordinarily effective organization."

For over 20 years, EJAF has raised more than $300 million between its U.S. and U.K. branches. The U.S. foundation funds programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean while its U.K. counterpart focuses on Europe, Asia, and Africa.

"Lily Safra is a cherished and treasured friend and a critical ally for our cause," said foundation founder Elton John. "She truly understands the challenge we face — not only the dangers and obstacles ahead, but more importantly, the unprecedented opportunity we have right now to make significant inroads against this epidemic. Lily has stepped up to play a significant role in finding enduring solutions. I cannot possibly thank her enough for her wonderful friendship and devotion to our urgent mission."