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It was a black-tie evening, full of gowns and even some colorful tuxes — all to help fundraise for amFAR’s HIV/AIDs research programs. Onlookers lined up along the sidewalk screamed for honoree Katy Perry when she arrived to the annual amFAR Los Angeles gala — with beau Orlando Bloom — at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on Thursday night, and the pop star made sure to sign autographs and chat with fans before walking inside to receive her award.
TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie also was honored for his commitment to the organization and his contributions to other humanitarian causes.
Rumer Willis, who looked glamorous in an off-shoulder yellow gown, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about why she felt that it was important to support amFAR: “I think right now in the world, especially as it is, there’s still sometimes such a stigma and almost like a shame around HIV and AIDS, and I really hope that we can continue to create a conversation of openness and positivity to really bring people together and eliminate that.”
Once inside, guests sipped on Perrier-Jouët champagne and signature Absolut Elyx vodka cocktails, and the evening began with a speech by longtime event chair Kevin Huvane. The CAA partner introduced Darren Criss, who sang a medley of Perry songs while playing his guitar, and he was followed by comedian Chris Tucker, who had the audience in stitches with his stand-up routine. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti then introduced honoree Perry to the stage, who was star-struck by the government official.
Supermodel Heidi Klum, who is a constant figure at the amFAR galas, spoke to reporters about why she supported the organization. “This event is so very important because there’s no cure yet for HIV and AIDS, and as long as there’s no cure, I hope that this event will still happen every year all over the world,” she said. “You know it is in Milan, it is in New York, here in Los Angeles, it is in Cannes. And whenever I can go, I always try to go and until we find a cure, I’m still going.”
The event also featured a spirited live auction, which included such items as a Rolex watch signed by Prince Albert of Monaco, a private party at The Nice Guy restaurant with Rams quarterback Jared Goff and, perhaps most coveted of all, a trip to Disneyland for six with Perry, which was sold for $150,000.
Despite the fun that was had, the seriousness of the cause was never lost on the attendees.
Carmen Electra spoke to THR about why supporting amFAR was such a vital cause for her. “AIDS and finding a cure for AIDS is really important to me, because of all the friends and dancers that I’ve worked with throughout my career, starting off in the ’90s, and then just people losing their lives,” she said. “These dancers became my friends, and then to hear a few years later after working with them that they’re sick and they’re dying, it’s just devastating.”
The gala ended with a performance by legendary singer Shirley Bass of some of her greatest hits, including “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Almost Like Being in Love” and “Goldfinger.”
The evening raised ore than $1.7 million for amfAR’s research programs.
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