www.ambiente.us NOVEMBER | NOVIEMBRE 2009
ELAINE LANCASTER Celebrates Her 10th Year as the Official
White Party Hostess
by Herb Sosa
Since 1995 Elaine Lancaster has helped raise over 20 million dollars for numerous
In 2008 she traveled to Cannes for the International Film Festival since the
documentary about her fundraising efforts was chosen as a Special Selection, which
chronicled her strategy for getting high net worth friends and acquaintances to donate
to the causes she holds dear. She has received the Key to Miami & Miami Beach and
there is even an Elaine Lancaster Day in Miami Beach, proclaimed by former mayor
Elaine Lancaster was born out of Charity and says she will continue to do all she can
as long as there is a need. Elaine Lancaster says "What I would really like to see is
Care Resource go out of business." Explaining that Care Resource is the largest
agency for HIV/AIDS assistance in South Florida so if there was a cure or an end to
AIDS there would be no longer a need for Care Resource, but until then whenever I am
needed I will respond anyway I can.
MIAMI RIVER INN
Worlds Oldest &
Care Resource and White Party Week are proud to have Elaine back again this year for
the 25th Anniversary while she celebrates her 10th year as the Official Hostess of
About White Party
This November, thousands of people will descend on Miami and Miami Beach for the
“Crown Jewel” of HIV/AIDS fundraisers, the 25th annual White Party Week™ Miami.
White Party Week™ remains one of the oldest and largest 100% HIV/AIDS benefits in
the world. To celebrate the silver anniversary, The White Party™ theme this year will be
“A Formal Affair.”
The White Party™ itself, the main event of the week, will once again be held at the
world famous Villa Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Saturday evening, November 28th.
This main event will feature international superstar DJ/Producer Tony Moran spinning
on the main dance floor overlooking beautiful Biscayne Bay on the east side of the
mansion. The casino mound will feature local entertainers and casino games
including poker, blackjack and slots for guests to try their hand to win fabulous prizes.
Some of South Florida’s favorite restaurants will be spread amongst the Vizcaya
grounds handing out tasting portions of their famous cuisines. Thousands of people
will be on hand, all dressed in White and some in elaborate costumes that takes them
months to put together.
White Party Week Miami™, started in 1985 also has the moniker of being the most
media covered AIDS fundraisers, and it has raised millions of dollars for Care
Resource, South Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS community service
organization. With offices in Broward and Miami Dade Counties, Care Resource
supplies a continuum of services to those affected and infected with the disease.
10 things we need to know for White Party, by Elaine...
1-What can you not go without at White Party?
A SMILE....just seeing all the event goers resplendent in White, mixing with one another
having a wonderful time flowing in and out of the Mansion onto the lawn and dancing
on the veranda while boats slip into place and stars shine brightly overhead. It makes
2- What was your favorite White Party accessory?
Happy People celebrating life & the lives of loved ones who are no longer with us on
this earth, but live on in our hearts & minds.
3- Where can we find Elaine at Vizcaya during White Party?
Well my primary function is to host the VIP at the beginning of the evening speaking &
joking around with the sponsors, & their guest. Talking with the various media outlets.
Then on stage introducing the evenings entertainment. and in some years past, on the
dance floor doing my thing.
4- Tell me something no one knows about the White Party.
I’m not sure what people do or do not know but what i would like to share with your
readers is this is the 25th anniversary of WPW which was born out of a house party &
grew into this international event.
5- What is the best thing that comes out of the White Party?
The money. Plain & simple....the money. Without the money generated by this week
long events thousands of south Floridian’s would not be able to receive HIV/AIDS
services provided by the organizers of WPW, Care Resource - the one stop provider. If it
was not for the generosity of media sponsors like OUT, ADVOCATE, South Florida
Blade, 411 & Ambiente Magazines. Clubs like TWIST & Score that has been a
community sponsor I believe from their beginning. Some people see White Party Week
as just a Party, but to the recipients of care from Care Resource it can be the difference
between life or death. A Party? Perhaps,
but with a purpose.
6- If you’ve never been, what should one expect?
A truly magical night. some people wait all year for this week to come around to take
party in the variety of events that take place all over Miami & the Beaches at various
times of the day. You don’t have to stay up till dawn to take part in the events. Since this
year is themed “A Formal Affair” I am extremely excited to see how elegant everyone
turns out. I am envisioning, something out of the Great Gasby. The music is historically
the best since it is a positive, lyrical genre of music which always works the crowd into
7- Best place to get the perfect White Party outfit?
Zoo 14 used to be the Go To place but now Maria has relocated her shop to Ft.
Lauderdale, so folks will have to go pay her a visit to check out her selection of White
Party outfits. If you go by early enough you can have something made custom.
8- Why have you decided to host it for 10 years?
Because I can. I first got my start with the Dallas AIDS Resource Center answering
telephones in the early 1990’s when only AZT was the only available form of treatment.
It was too depressing then to be surrounded by so many people who were filled with
little hope or hopelessness. I wanted to do something that could help people but in a
uplifting way. So I took over an event called, “A Evening with the Stars” and amazed
myself how successful I was.
I got on the phone & called Neiman Marcus, American Airlines, United & Southwest
Airlines. Skyy Vodka, and I knew Artist, Elton John, and Texas people that were Big Rich
Texas style & I threw a party like none before at a restaurant named, Monica’s aca y
alla, then mayor Ronald Kirk came & bestowed upon me a Proclamation from the City. I
knew after that night I could do anything i set my mind to and worked hard to
accomplish. At the time it was the highest grossing fundraiser by an individual in the
history of the Resource Center. And now with continued advancements in treatment,
care & medicines there is HOPE for a
fulfilling, rich, active life. There are survivors for twenty some odd years & growing.
9- What is your hope for the White Party & Care Resource?
I HOPE people are able to come out and support each & every event that they possibly
can this year more than ever. I am fully aware of the current economic downturn in the
recent years and it has affected non-profits for a while, but the money that is raised
means so much to many. I would encourage everyone to go to the care resource web
site (www.careresource.org) and read about what service’s are provided and where the
money raised goes. Something like 87% of each party dollar goes to client services &
without the continued support of the community and all the hundreds of volunteers who
make White Party Week happen this would not be possible. Regardless of ones status
as a community not just locally, but globally We ARE ALL in this together.
10- What can I do?
I know you are asking in general what you can do because i know you already do so
much, but what people reading this interview can do is really quit simple.
First of all one does not have to be rich to be charitable. One of the most important
things one can do is Volunteer. Answer the phones, help out at the food banks, visit
people who might be in the hospital, let someone know who may not be doing too well
that they are not alone. That you are there, there are support groups available. Be
encouraging, loving & supportive is very important to the over all well being of people
with HIV/AIDS. I have been a caring, listening friend to many who needed to be heard
and just listening to someone can do so much to their spirit. I know a person’s mind
set is such an important factor in the equation for total good health. If one is too busy
but has the ability to write a check then I say sign your name. It takes a lot of money to
provide services for the clients and I know how thankful everyone involved with White
Party Week is to each and everyone who makes this week work.
The 25th Anniversary of The White Party is quickly approaching!
White Party Week is scheduled for November 25th through November 30th 2009.
Visit www.whiteparty.org for tickets and more information.