“And the Oscar goes to ...”. As evening fell on 25 February and all eyes turned to the brightly lit Kodak Theatre, the moment had arrived once again: the best actors and directors took possession of the most prestigious film prize of them all in recognition for their masterpieces. But on Oscar night, not all roads led to Hollywood Boulevard. At the Pacific Design Center just a stone’s throw away, Sir Elton John welcomed the crème de la crème of the entertainment industry to his legendary Oscar Viewing Party. While the highly sought-after Academy Awards were being presented at the Kodak Theatre, “And the Audi goes to …” could be heard at Elton John’s.

Enjoying the limelight were two new models bearing the Audi name and set to benefit Elton John’s AIDS Foundation. The highest bidders secured the brand-new Audi R8 mid-engined sports car for $210,000 and the TT Roadster for $80,000, thereby joining the Ingolstadt premium manufacturer in support of all-important AIDS research and prevention. At last year’s charity auction, two Audi Q7 models came under the hammer for the same good cause, raising $280,000 in the process.

As the exclusive automobile sponsor and a main sponsor of this hip event, Audi chauffeured the many celebrities and VIPs to the Pacific Design Center’s red carpet in a fleet of Audi A8 and Audi Q7 models. Elton John himself and surprise guest James Blunt enthralled the party-goers with a live performance. The party has such a legendary reputation that many Oscar guests go to Elton John’s instead of attending the official after-show gathering.

At the beginning of the weekend, in recognition of the Oscar-nominated German cinema hit “The Life of Others”, Audi issued invitations to the filmcrew and a number of other VIP guests. An exclusive dinner at the German Consulate General was attended by high-profile guests including director and 2007 Oscar winner Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, leading actors Sebastian Koch and Ulrich Mühe, TV presenter Thomas Gottschalk and the German Consul General in Los Angeles, Dr. Christian Stocks.

The Oscar Viewing Event has such a legendary reputation that many Oscar guests go to Elton John’s instead of attending the official after-show gathering. Each year, the who’s who of the world of film and music come together in the company of Sir Elton John himself to watch the Oscars being awarded, and to support his AIDS Foundation.

An involvement in social welfare matters has long been a core component of the Audi corporate culture. One example is the Christmas appeal, which was launched in 1977 by the Works Council and has been repeated annually since then. Its goal is to provide financial support to local welfare organisations and it has raised 8.68 million euros in donations since its inauguration. As a sponsor of the “Education through Sports” programme run by the Ayrton Senna Institute, AUDI AG has donated a total of 11.4 million euros to improving the living conditions of poor children in Brazil since 1999.

And, for the past five years, Audi UK has been involved with the Elton John AIDS Foundation. It is for this cause that a further auction is held each year in addition to that at the Oscar Viewing Party. Luxury articles with a rarity value are auctioned at the prestigious “White Tie & Tiara Ball” charity event, which is hosted by Elton John at his Windsor home. Here too, all the proceeds of the auction go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

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