Stars on the Midway

updated 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/20/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HOLLYWOOD STARS HEADED OUT en masse to play carny for a day at the fifth annual Pediatric AIDS Foundation picnic on June 5. Among the volunteers at the old Robert Taylor estate in Brentwood, Calif., were Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Maria Shriver, Luke Perry, Jay Leno and Meryl Streep, who soaked up the sun while running the ring toss. "This is the nicest, most familial event in town," said Streep.

Twelve hundred guests paid a minimum of $1,000 a ticket, raising a record $1.6 million and the spirits of the organization's cofounder, Elizabeth Glaser, who contracted HIV from a blood transfusion after the birth of her daughter Ariel in 1981. "We cannot get complacent about AIDS," she said. "Every day counts."

That urgency wasn't lost on the celebs, who packed the day with nonstop action in between bites of caviar, submarine sandwiches and ice cream. Robin Williams, Jack Nicholson and Mike Myers took turns working the dunking booth, while Jimmy Connors and son Brett, 14, manned the basketball shoot. Even Dustin Hoffman worked double duty, arranging photo ops when he wasn't trading high-fives at the bull's-eye ball toss.

But the Hollywood presence couldn't detract from the 35 HIV-positive children on hand, including 14-year-old Joey DiPaolo of Stalen Island, N.Y. "Society tells us we have a dirty-disease," he told the crowd. "I can tell you there is no reason for anyone to have AIDS. If you know someone who is infected, be a friend."

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