The 17th annual Tea for Two Hundred event will be held July 19 at a private home in Washington.

The event, which will run from 4 to 7 p.m. at the home of Gael Hammer and Gary Goodwin, will benefit the New Milford VNA Hospice program and the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Greater Danbury.

Festivities include a silent auction, a best hat contest, hors d'oeuvres, desserts and dancing.

Christine Ohlman, longtime vocalist with NBC's Saturday Night Live Band, will for the second year be the special guest performer.

Playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer, prominently in the news now for the HBO production of his play "The Normal Heart," is this year's guest of honor.

Kramer is a founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, organizations both founded in the 1980s to raise funds for and promote education about the growing AIDS crisis.

The idea for the event was conceived in 1995 after the death of Hammer's late partner, Timothy Mawson.

Linda Lewis, Hospice director, noted that she was a member of the Hospice team providing care for Mawson

"It is so gratifying that New Milford VNA & Hospice is one of the beneficiaries of the tea," she said. "Fundraising is crucial to our program, and we are grateful to be able to help keep this event running so successfully year after year."

Attendees are asked to wear white.

Tickets are $60 in advance by visiting www.newmilfordvna.org or calling 860-354-2216. Tickets will be $75 after July 5 and at the door.

For more information, or to be a sponsor or donate goods or services for the silent auction, call Debbie Matta at 860-354-2216 or email dmatta@newmilfordvna.org.