amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Debbie Harry, Kenneth Cole, Alan Cumming, Cheyenne Jackson  Help Raise Funds at amfAR’s Honoring with Pride Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts: Bennah Serfaty, Senior Director of Communications, (212) 806-1607; Natalie Jacobs, Coordinator, Media Relations, (212) 806-1694

New York, NY, June 12, 2009–amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, raised more than $200,000 last night as it honored leaders in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community who have played pioneering roles in the fight against AIDS. Those who attended the event included Debbie Harry, Alan Cumming, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR Founding Chairman Dr. Mathilde Krim, Cheyenne Jackson, Jack Mackenroth, Ari Gold, Christian Siriano, Jenny Shimizu, Rollerena, Colton Ford and DJ Billy Beyond, among others.

amfAR’s tenth annual Honoring with Pride benefit paid tribute to Patricia FieldCleve Jones, and Lady Bunny. Patricia Field, Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning fashion conceptualizer, was honored for her tireless commitment to improving the lives of people with HIV through Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and the AIDS service organizations it supports. Cleve Jones is a pioneering LGBT rights activist who founded the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and was a historical consultant to the film Milk.  He was honored for, his continued passionate activism and leadership in the fight against AIDS across the globe.  Lady Bunny, a legendary drag artist, comedienne, chanteuse, DJ and founder of “Wigstock,” was honored for her generous contributions to the success of amfAR fundraising events and for devoting endless energy and creativity to raising AIDS awareness.  Awards were presented by Debbie Harry, David Mixner and Flotilla DeBarge respectively. 

amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, along with Cheyenne Jackson and  amfAR board members David Bohnett, R. Martin Chavez, Ph.D., and Donald Capoccia, spoke about the importance of amfAR’s work and the enduring leadership and  commitment  of the LGBT community in the fight against AIDS.  Alan Cumming hosted the celebration, attended by 400 guests at the Edison Ballroom.  Cumming honored the memory of the late amfAR trustee Natasha Richardson by introducing a video tribute to her work in the fight against AIDS, produced by Bravo.

Later in the evening, legendary recording artist Debbie Harry gave a special performance that brought the crowd to its feet. Harry’s set included stunning acoustic versions of her iconic hit “Heart of Glass” and The Beatles’ “Please Please Me.”

The evening included a live auction, which featured a walk-on role on ABC’s hit comedy Ugly Betty. Honoree Patricia Field, who is currently styling the show, added a coat and bag worn by American Ferrera as Betty Suarez to the package, which sold for $4,200. Other auction packages included tickets to upcoming Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, and Kylie Minogue concerts, courtesy of allshows.com, an Alaskan adventure cruise for ten, and tickets to Cheyenne Jackson’s upcoming Broadway shows The Power of Two and Finian’s Rainbow. Jackson also donated tickets to the opening night party of Finian’s Rainbow, a meet and greet with the cast, and dinner for four at Chez Josephine with himself and Alan Cumming. The package was doubled for two lucky bidders, selling for a total of $5,500. 

Honoring with Pride is held each year to pay tribute to individuals who have played a significant role in the gay and lesbian community's historic response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Previous hosts, speakers, and special guests have included Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Hon. Mario Cuomo, Kathy Bates, Betty Buckley, Mario Cantone, Carrie Fisher, Marcia Gay Harden, Cyndi Lauper , Liza Minnelli, Eric McCormack of "Will & Grace," Liz Smith, Angie Stone, Meryl Streep, and  B.D. Wong. Past honorees include Julie Davids, Jerry Mitchell, Kiehl’s Since 1851, Cornelius Baker, Harvey Fierstein, David Bohnett, Tony Kushner, Nan Hunter, Larry Kramer, Dan Osheyack, Sister Mary Elizabeth, Peter Staley, Urvashi Vaid, Phill Wilson, and the Honorable James C. Hormel.

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 the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $290 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

amfAR recognizes American Airlines for its commitment to the fight against AIDS and its generous support of amfAR’s mission.


RELATED LINKS

Biographies of previous Award of Courage honorees