"Empress of Soul" Gladys Knight will be the headline entertainment for the 25th annual Evening Under the Stars gala May 5 at the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. The event is a benefit for AAP – Food Samaritans, a non-profit organization that provides nutritional support for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.
The festivities will begin with an extended sunset cocktail hour on the grounds of the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. A short awards program will recognize inspirational honorees, including the Auen Foundation, represented by Sherrie Auen, Ron Auen, and Catharine Reed for the Jeannette Rockefeller Humanitarian Award; The Desert Sun Media Group for the Gloria Greene Inspiration Award; Desert Tennis Association, represented by Nabil Najjar for the Herb Lazenby Community Service Award; and Denise Haslam and Angela Slater for the Frank Jurczyk Volunteer Award.
“We could not fulfill our mission without the dedication and support of the incredible people and organizations that support us,” says Mark Anton, CEO/executive director of AAP – Food Samaritans. “We are so very grateful for their unyielding kindness that they exhibit on a daily basis not only for AAP, but for many other organizations across the Coachella Valley.”
A delicious dinner will precede a performance by Knight, who Anton calls “one of greatest singers in the world, period.”
Very few singers over the last 50 years have matched her unassailable artistry. This seven-time Grammy winner has enjoyed No. 1 hits in pop, gospel, R&B, and adult contemporary and has triumphed in film, television, and live performance.
She returned to the Las Vegas strip in the late-2000s to the famed Tropicana Hotel for a special engagement that ran in the newly named Gladys Knight Theater, making her the first African-American performer to have a venue named after her in the Nevada hot spot.
Over the years, Evening Under the Stars has featured the talents of a wide variety of entertainers. Previous headliners have included Barry Manilow, Lily Tomlin and the entire remaining cast of Laugh In, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Pink Martini, The B-52s, The Go-Go’s, Cyndi Lauper, Darlene Love, and the iconic Village People.
After Knight’s show, the party continues with deejay Jerry Bonham and a fireworks display.
Tickets for the benefit, at $395 and $500 per person, are available for purchase. Individual VIP seats and sponsorships are also available. For more information, call 760-325-8481 or visit aidsassistance.org.