amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Donna Karan, Liza Minnelli, Howard and Cindy Rachofsky Honored at amfAR's New York Gala

Stanley Tucci, Natasha Richardson, Anna Wintour, Mary J Blige among attendees

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


New York City, February 13, 2009—More than $830,000 was raised last night for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at its annual New York Gala. Donna Karan, Liza Minnelli, and Dallas-based philanthropists and dedicated supporters of amfAR Howard and Cindy Rachofsky were honored at the event for their vital and distinctive contributions to the global struggle against AIDS.   Award presentations to these individuals were made by Anna Wintour, Kenneth Cole, and Jamie Niven respectively.

The event, which raised funds for amfAR’s HIV/AIDS research programs, was hosted by Stanley Tucci and featured special performances by Grammy-nominated recording artist Joan Osborne, recording artist Renee Olstead, and the legendary Liza Minnelli.  The black-tie dinner and awards presentation took place at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole and amfAR trustees Harry Belafonte and Natasha Richardson spoke to the guests about the importance of  supporting amfAR’s work, with Richardson highlighting recent advances on the road to a cure that were the result of amfAR grants.

The evening also included a live auction, during which a Sharon Stone-designed Louis Vuitton vanity case sold for $20,000.  The Damier canvas case lined with red Moroccan leather is an original design by Stone, made especially for amfAR.   A necklace from Lorraine Schwartz’s Diamond Monkey Collection sold to Kenneth Cole.

After presenting Minnelli with her award, Cole announced that the legendary singer would give a rare impromptu performance to encourage guests to bid on limited-edition, amfAR engraved, Cartier LOVE bracelets.  Eighteen guests purchased the bracelets, which were available exclusively at the event, raising a total of $90,000.  Minnelli gave an impassioned performance to close out the night.

In addition to Belafonte, Richardson, and several other members of amfAR’s board of trustees, celebrities who came out to support the evening included  Mary J Blige, Katrina Bowden, Rose Byrne, Mario Cantone, Dick Cavett, Lily Donaldson, John Demsey, Eliza Dushku, Ben Gazzara, Cheyenne Jackson, Calvin Klein, Marci Klein, Terrence Koh, Doutzen Kroes, Michelle Monaghan, Taylor Momsen, Maggie Rizer, Lance Reddick, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, Anja Rubik, Stella Schnabel, Vito Schnabel, Jessica Stam, Lara Stone, and Rachel Zoe.

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 more than $275 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.