Excitement Builds for amfAR Gala in November

franklin fry, joel goodrich, kevin frost and gregory borroff
Franklin Fry, Joel Goodrich, Kevin Frost and Gregory Borroff

AmfAR supporter Joel Goodrich recently hosted a luncheon in Union Square to draw attention to amfAR’s eleventh annual San Francisco Gala, which will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel on November 6, 2009. The event will feature cocktails, both live and silent luxury auctions, a three-course dinner designed by a celebrity chef, and special entertainment.

Joel Goodrich
Joel Goodrich

Joel’s guests got to meet Kevin Frost (the CEO of amfAR), Gregory Borroff (VP of Development), and Franklin Fry (the Director of Special Events.) It was interesting to learn that while so many charities have suffered this year, amfAR is still thriving. For instance, their event in Milan this month will be a super glamorous affair — Elizabeth Taylor contacted Janet Jackson just last month and asked her to appear at the gala!

And speaking of Miss Taylor, as a special surprise at the luncheon, photographer Thomas Gibbons presented a framed photo he had taken at the very first amfAR gala of Elizabeth Taylor (looking absolutely magnificent) with Dr. Mathilde Krim. As Tom is a decades-long friend of Elizabeth Taylor, and a supporter of amfAR who has known so many friends with AIDS over the years, it was a poignant personal touch.

jorge maumer and rosalina lydster
Jorge Maumer and Rosalina Lydster

AmfAR CEO Kevin Frost, who had just arrived from a trip to Bangkok, spoke afterwards about the goals of the organization. He remarked on how powerful it was to him that Edward Kennedy was so full of hope up to the end of his life, because hope is such a vital part of the day-to-day functioning of people who are committed to finding a cure for AIDS.

“There’s been a lot of hopeful research in the last year and a half,” he noted. “AmfAR believes we can cure AIDS, and do it in our lifetime.”

In fact, according to Mr. Frost, “The entire scientific community has agreed that one person has been cured by AIDS.”

Continued research on a cure will simply not be possible without more funding, which is what makes amfAR so important. The organization raises the largest amount of money for a cure for AIDS, even more than the NIH!

We asked a few of the lunch guests why they support amfAR. For Mark Rhoades it’s “that the money they raise goes to research, prevention and education. And they always throw a great party!”

Indeed, from what we’ve been hearing, the November 6 gala is going to be one of their best!

Stylist Karen Tamblyn admires the organization because it “celebrates life by bringing elegance, joie de vivre, and the A-list together to increase visibility and support for a cause that affects millions of lives across the globe.”

Derek Besenfelder

Event producer Derek Besenfelder said that “After attending amfAR’s gala last year, I am looking forward to hosting a table this year. Kevin Frost’s talk was inspiring and it reminded me that it is because of amfAR’s cutting edge research that we are one step closer in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.”

mark rhoades and karen tamblyn
Mark Rhoades and Karen Tamblyn

We hope to see you at the Four Seasons in November for this year’s gala, but if you can’t make it, please consider making a donation.