The writers could still be a no-show for Oscar night next month, but the 18th Annual Utah AIDS Foundation Oscar Gala will go on.

The continuing Writers Guild strike is having an impact and creating some doubt, but the awards will be given out, and the thousands of Oscar Night America fundraisers around the country that evening shouldn't change their plans.

They have the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' word on it.

"We're not sure if everyone we invite will attend," academy President Sid Ganis wrote in a letter dated Jan. 14. "But I can assure you that on Feb. 24, we will be on the air handing out Oscars for the 80th time in our history."

And foundation gala organizers say whatever is broadcast will be showing on the big screens at the gala like the awards night proceedings have been the past 17 years .

"I'm not sure what that might be at this point — there is plenty of speculation," Stan Penfold, foundation executive director, said Tuesday. "We expect to hear more as the actual broadcast date approaches."

The foundation hopes to raise about $88,000 at this year's event, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on the 23rd floor of the Wells Fargo Building.

Funds generated that evening help pay for services to families in Utah living with HIV/AIDS, including the operation of a food bank. Funds also underwrite education and risk reduction training to people who are at high risk for HIV infection. The foundation also operates several prevention programs, including one targeting the Hispanic community — a population with increasing HIV infection rates.>


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