Despite the weighty cause, Cipriani Wall Street was filled with positive energy at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s 12th annual “An Enduring Vision” benefit in New York City Tuesday night. “We’ve come a long way in the 12 years since we first started doing this,” Sir Elton John told reporters alongside husband David Furnish, who seconded the sentiment. “When we started, we couldn’t see an end in sight, but because of the medical advances and treatment, we know now that treatment is prevention,” Furnish said. The couple have worked tirelessly to bring awareness to the fight against AIDS, and last night was no different, as guests like Allison Williams, Hillary Rhoda, and Donna Karan helped celebrate Hillary Clinton, Sandra Lee, and Elton John for their work in the fight against AIDS and HIV. The former Secretary of State was honored with the benefit’s first-ever Founder’s Award for her ground-breaking speech in Geneva, while Lee was presented with the Enduring Vision Award for her ongoing philanthropy toward the cause. John took home the Harvard AIDS Initiative Leadership Award for his long-standing fight against the virus. Although the evening recognized how far we’ve come, both Clinton and John emphasized how far we still have to go. “There are so many challenges in front of us,” Clinton said, speaking directly to the prejudices that those who suffer from the disease are faced with. “Humans may discriminate, but viruses don’t.” The evening concluded with an auction, which helped bring the night’s total sum raised to $3,450,000. And no Elton John fete would be complete without a little rock ‘n’ roll! The ladies of Heart took the stage for several rousing renditions of their classic hits, including “Barracuda” and “What About Love?”

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