amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Stephen Brady and Peter Poulos Honored at amfAR's San Francisco Gala

$440,000 Raised for AIDS Research - Event Presented by Wells Fargo


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


San Francisco, November 7, 2009—Rex Lee, Maggie Rizer, Martha Wash, Sebastian Siegel, Tracy Chapman, Art Agnos, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, and amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole gathered with amfAR supporters from across the Bay Area last night for the Foundation’s eleventh annual San Francisco Gala, in the process raising $440,000 for AIDS research. Host Rex Lee of HBO’s Entourage welcomed 420 guests to the Four Seasons, where Peter Poulos and Stephen Brady were presented with amfAR's Awards of Courage.

Julie Rosen, senior vice president of merchandising for Banana Republic, and Amy Schoening, owner of brand consulting company True Story, presented Brady with his award, acknowledging the inventive vision he has used to promote AIDS awareness through his long career in the fashion industry.  Brady spoke about his personal dedication to fighting the AIDS epidemic, which he has shown through his devoted efforts to mobilize funding for amfAR.

Peter Poulos was presented with his award by the Honorable Art Agnos, former mayor of San Francisco.  Agnos recalled working with Poulos on political campaigns during the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Poulos, who has spearheaded amfAR’s San Francisco fundraiser in the past and has raised millions to benefit HIV/AIDS causes, expressed pride in the leadership that the Bay Area community has taken on all fronts—through public policy, science, and fundraising—in the fight against AIDS.

Supermodel Maggie Rizer shared a moving personal story with the audience, speaking candidly about losing her father to AIDS at a young age. “I grew up learning about AIDS just like every other young girl grows up learning to recite the alphabet,” Rizer said. “And I learned that one day I would wake up and my father would not.”

amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole also spoke about his recent trip to Cambodia, where he toured sites in amfAR’s TREAT Asia network. Cole shared photos of his visits with HIV-positive children orphaned by AIDS, and he expressed hope that through innovative research, a cure will be discovered for these Cambodian children and the 33 million others who are now living with HIV

Later in the evening, Rizer and Cole stood together on stage to remind the crowd that just $1,000 per year can keep an HIV-positive child on life-saving treatment. Thirty-seven guests then stood up to pledge $1,000, raising a total of $37,000.

San Francisco-based auctioneer Durwood Zedd conducted the live auction, a highlight of which was the “Southampton Exclusive” package, donated by honoree Stephen Brady.  The item included a week’s stay for six guests in a luxurious Southampton home, use of a Range Rover, and meals at Red Bar and Silvers Restaurant. Brady agreed to double the offer, allowing the package to sell twice for a total of $29,000.

Also featured in the live auction:

A vacation for four in the Napa Valley, including five nights in a scenic wine country cottage and meals at some of the country’s premiere restaurants, which sold for $10,500;

A tour of France for two couples, with stays at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris and the Chateau du Portail Bed and Breakfast in the Loire Valley, which sold twice for a total of $34,000;

Kenneth Cole helped auction off a trip to New York City for two, offering seats at his table at amfAR’s New York Gala, the Fashion Week kick-off event that has become as one of the city’s most high-profile AIDS benefits. Cole doubled the package, allowing two bidders to win for a total of $20,000.

The evening culminated in an exhilarating performance by legendary soul, R&B, and pop diva Martha Wash.  Many of the guests stormed the stage to dance along to her iconic hits, including “Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” and “It’s Raining Men.”

Nick Augustinos, Curt Kirschner, Joel Goodrich, Tim Hanlon, Fred Naranjo, Lisa Sardegna, and David Carrillo served as chairs of the black tie gala.  Gourmet dinner was prepared by Chef Gordon Drysdale of Café des Amis. WillaKenzie Estate and Hafner Vineyards provided wines for the evening. Signature cocktails were provided by Skyy Vodka and benefactor AriZona beverages.

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 the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested $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.