Laela Wilding, granddaughter of the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor, invites fellow Portlanders to join her to celebrate her grandmother’s life and raise money for the issue that defined her legacy: HIV and AIDS. On February 23, the Hollywood Theatre will open its doors in honor of the actress with a special screening of the Academy Award-winning film classic, A Place in the Sun.
Cupcake Jones has donated hundreds of cupcakes -- one of Taylor’s favorite treats -- to help celebrate the actress’ birthday, which is February 27th.
The event is personal for Wilding, who was very close with her grandmother but has traditionally been private about her connection to Taylor, a cinema icon who passed away in 2011. But, like the rest of her family, Wilding wants to honor and continue Taylor’s significant contributions to the fight against AIDS. All proceeds of this event will support Cascade AIDS Project and Our House of Portland, both non-profit organizations which are recognized by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
Elizabeth Taylor starred in more than 55 films during her career, but she was most recognized and honored for her roles in National Velvet , A Place in the Sun , Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , a role which earned her one of her two Oscars. George Stevens’ 1951 Oscar-winning A Place in the Sun, co-staring Taylor's lifelong friend, Montgomery Clift, is a true classic that is rarely shown on the big screen.
In addition to her prolific acting career, Elizabeth Taylor was a true leader in AIDS activism as early as 1984. She was the Founding International Chairman of the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), and later established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF).
“I’m excited to celebrate my grandmother and honor her life with this special screening,” says Wilding, who has lived most of her life in Portland and is an alumnus of Saint Mary’s Academy and University of Oregon. “I encourage friends, film-fans, art-lovers and activists to join us in a celebration of an amazing woman I loved very much.” As for the urgency of the cause, Wilding adds, “People are still dying from AIDS, and I know my grandmother wouldn’t want us to stop fighting until the disease is eradicated from all of our lives forever.”
ABOUT CASCADE AIDS PROJECT (CAP)
Founded in 1983, Cascade AIDS Project is the oldest and largest community-based provider of HIV services, housing, education and advocacy in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Cascade AIDS Project helps people put their lives back together; to secure housing, find essential medical care and deal with the countless issues that make the difference between giving up or getting up and going on. Shelter, life skills training, and emotional support— these are what CAP provides.
ABOUT OUR HOUSE OF PORTLAND
Our House provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Their programs and services include: Our House, Neighborhood Housing & Care Program, Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner. Our House is a residential care facility that provides skilled nursing, social services and occupational therapy for people with HIV/AIDS. In 2013, Our House was named # 1 in the 100 Best Nonprofits to work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine! Our House also ranked second in The Oregonian’s 2013 Top Workplaces.