A few years back, Dionne Warwick had a monster hit in the song ‘That’s What Friends Are For.” Recently she had another hit by the same name—a four-day extravaganza she organized to benefit her Warwick Foundation’s fund for AIDS education and pediatric AIDS care.
The New York City revels began on a Thursday night with a black-tie dinner (for which guests paid up to $1,000 per veal chop) aboard the aircraft carrier-museum U.S.S. Intrepid. Much to the frenzy of the paparazzi, Dionne and her good buddies Sammy and Frank—the Sammy and Frank—arrived at the same time. “When Dionne first told me about it,” said Sinatra, “I said, ‘Anytime, anywhere—and what do I wear?’ ”
Friday there was a ceremony in Battery Park, where bulbs have been planted to give hope to AIDS patients. Saturday’s high point was a concert at Avery Fisher Hall featuring Gregory Hines, Gladys Knight, Dionne’s cousin Whitney Houston and Cyndi Lauper—who wore a blue see-through dress to sing “True Colors.” Sunday ended with a tour of New York’s hottest night spots, with all admission fees going to New York AIDS programs.
As the weekend wound down, Warwick reflected on the fates of the children she has vowed to help: “They will be nurtured, cared for, hugged, sung to, cuddled, kissed and taught there is love.”
As the song goes, that’s what friends are for.