- Title: AUSTRIA: International celebrities arrive in Vienna to attend the 2009 Life Ball
- Date: 17th May 2009
- Summary: KATY PERRY WALKING TO CUSTOMISED CAR, STROKING A FURRY TOY PERCHED ON THE ROOF OF THE CAR GIANT BANNER ADVERTISING LIFE BALL
- Reuters ID: LVA47M0IP48K1FR5ZT80CDAP2FFB
- Location: Austria
- Country: Austria
- Duration: 00:00:12
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: The glitzy Life Ball, Europe's largest event for the fight against AIDS/HIV, started in 1993 as a tongue-in-cheek, gay alternative to the starchy, white-tie and waltz balls beloved by Vienna's old-school upper-class.
But the event soon became a worldwide hit and a highlight of the Viennese ball season, boasting daring, gaudy costumes, frivolous partying, and international celebrity guests passionate both about anti-AIDS campaigning and all-night partying.
This year the roster of high-profile guests included pop singer Katy Perry, actresses Eva Longoria Parker and Pamela Anderson and sitcom comedian Fran Drescher.
"I am so honoured to be here for AmfAR and the Life Ball it's my first time to Vienna , I am extremely dedicated to advocacy for children's rights and when AmfAR called and asked me to be a part of this I jumped at the chance because I believe in bettering the lives if children and there is no reason why children should suffering from any disease, especially AIDS,"
Longoria told reporters.
Last year, the Life Ball charity donated 1.1 million euros to Austrian and international aid and research projects, with beneficiaries including the Bill Clinton Foundation and amfAR, the Foundation for Aids Research.
"There is a growing demographic of orphans due to mothers with AIDS.
The woman is the caregiver to the child, the spouse and the elder in almost every home worldwide, at all costs we must keep her alive. I am very grateful to the Life Ball, as well as to AmfAR and the Clinton Foundation for giving me this opportunity as a public diplomacy envoy to further recognise and bring awareness to women with aids and more specifically mothers with AIDS,"
added actress Fran Drescher.
Come nightfall, some 4,000 guests are expected to attend the ball itself inside one of Vienna's architectural landmarks, the massive neo-Gothic Rathaus, or Town Hall, while thousands more will flock to the opening ceremony for the traditional fashion show of exotic, outrageous costumes and plenty of naked skin.
In stark contrast to Vienna's genteel, even fuddy-daddy image, the Life Ball is now embraced by the city as a marker of cool, and is believed to be the only gay party in the world to be hosted in a public building.
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