amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media contacts:
Bennah Serfaty, Senior Director of Communications, (212) 806-1607 or bennah.serfaty@amfar.org
Caroline Humphrey, Media Relations Associate, (212) 806-1632 or caroline.humphrey@amfar.org
Lindsey Brown, Slate PR: lindsey@slate-pr.com

amfAR RAISES OVER $2 MILLION AT ANNUAL NEW YORK GALA 

HARVEY WEINSTEIN HONORED

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New York, NY, February 11, 2016 — Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z, Diane Kruger, Uma Thurman, Andy Cohen, Heidi Klum, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Karolina Kurkova, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at the 18th annual amfAR New York Gala to pay tribute to legendary Academy Award-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein for his longtime support of amfAR and exceptional contributions to the global struggle against HIV/AIDS. The event, presented by Harry Winston, raised over $2 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research programs.

Other celebrities in attendance included Emily Ratajkowski, Karlie Kloss, Cheyenne Jackson, Jemima Kirke, Adriana Lima, Hailey Baldwin, Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman, Petra Nemcova, Coco Rocha, Padma Lakshmi, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Al Roker, Alina Baikova, Magdalena Frackowiak, Emma Miller, Anais Mali, Anna Cleveland, Lewis Hamilton, Hannah Davis, Andreja Pejic, Sara Sampaio, Rachel Zoe, Izabel Goulart, Constance Jablonski, Martha Hunt, Elsa Hosk, and Taylor Hill, among others.

Harvey Keitel and Uma Thurman opened the evening, welcoming guests and thanking Harvey Weinstein for his enormous contributions to the important causes of our time, particularly the fight against AIDS, because “if the conquest of AIDS requires people who can move mountains, we should all be grateful that Harvey Weinstein is on our side.”

amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole described the evening as “one more stop on the road to making AIDS history,” and spoke passionately about amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure by 2020.

Andy Cohen thanked the event’s sponsors with amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, who announced the launch of a limited edition Countdown to a Cure Timepiece by Harry Winston. Twenty percent of the retail sales price of the men’s and ladies’ timepiece will be donated to amfAR’s efforts to develop a cure for HIV.

Robert De Niro presented the amfAR Award of Courage to Harvey Weinstein with a heartfelt personal tribute, noting that it is “our good fortune that he puts the same passion, creativity, and devotion” that he puts into his films into his philanthropy. De Niro also introduced a video recognizing Weinstein for his philanthropic endeavors and featuring remarks from friends Nicole Kidman, Matt Damon, Naomi Watts, Idris Elba, Anna Wintour, Kerry Washington, and Queen Latifah. Accepting the award, Weinstein, whose leadership of amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS Gala in Cannes has helped raise $170 million since 1993, stated that “when the disease ends, my job ends too.”

Guests enjoyed bidding on exclusive items during the live auction, conducted by Alexander Gilkes. Highlights included:

  • A framed portfolio of ten 1975 Andy Warhol screen prints of Mick Jagger, each signed by Warhol and Jagger, sold for $125,000.
  • Model Sara Sampaio and explorer Johan Ernst Nilson introduced a Mongolian expedition trip, which sold twice (once to Leonardo DiCaprio) for a total of $190,000.
  • A Timothy White photograph of amfAR’s Founding International Chairman, the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor, sold twice for a total of $180,000.
  • The Weinstein Company offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a walk-on role in the upcoming Richard Pryor biopic starring Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Mike Epps, and Kate Hudson, which sold for $50,000.
  • Model Karolina Kurkova introduced exquisite Harry Winston earrings from their “Diamond Links” collection, which sold for $45,000.

The evening also featured two spectacular live performances. Grammy-nominated British pop sensation Charli XCX performed an explosive set of her top hits “Doing It” and “Boom Clap.” Swedish duo Icona Pop ended the evening and kept the crowd on their feet dancing to their hits “Emergency,” and “I Love It,” during which Charli XCX joined them on stage.

The event was presented by Harry Winston. M•A•C Viva Glam and Moët Hennessy were Signature Sponsors. Mandarin Oriental, New York was the event’s Hotel Partner, and FIJI Water served as Associate Sponsor.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline Partner of amfAR. Harry Winston is the Official Jewelry and Timepiece Partner. Moët Hennessy is the Official Wine and Spirits Partner. The amfAR New York Gala is produced by Andrew Boose/AAB Productions.

About amfAR: 
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and advocacy.  Since 1985, amfAR has invested $450 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.

About Harry Winston, Inc.: 
Founded in New York City in 1932, The House of Harry Winston continues to set the standard for the ultimate in fine jewelry and high-end watch making.  From the acquisition of some of the world’s most famous gemstones, including the Jonker, Hope and Winston Legacy Diamonds, to adorning Hollywood’s leading ladies on the red carpet, for over eight decades, Harry Winston has been a symbol of the best there is.  Headquartered in New York, the company operates retail salons worldwide, in locations including: New York, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

About Harry Winston’s Partnership with amfAR: 
In January 2015, Harry Winston, Inc., announced a groundbreaking new partnership with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, that represents the single largest corporate partnership in the Foundation’s history.  Through a wide range of contributions including direct financial support and in-kind donations, Harry Winston will help advance amfAR’s efforts to end the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research. 

Harry Winston is the first company to serve as the presenting sponsor for the organization’s 27 gala events taking place across the globe over the next three years.  These events are vital to raising more than half of amfAR’s general operating support, enabling the organization to invest wisely in pioneering research and programs. The company is also a leading supporter of amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, which is aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure by 2020.