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ACRIA's Holiday Dinner with GMHC Raises $375K for Programs

Monday December 18, 2017

On December 14, ACRIA held its 22nd annual signature winter fundraising event -- the Holiday Dinner -- on Thursday night at Cipriani 25 Broadway, raising $375,000 to fund ACRIA's lifesaving HIV/AIDS programs.

The landmark event celebrated the organization's new strategic partnership with Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and welcomed 400 high-profile friends, supporters, artists, designers, media, and philanthropists for cocktails and a seated dinner at Cipriani 25 Broadway. A paddle raise was conducted by Sara Friedlander, Head of Post-War & Contemporary Art at Christie's.

Since its inception, the Holiday Dinner has raised more than $10 million to ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS can enjoy longer, healthier lives through ACRIA's research and prevention programs. In October 2017, ACRIA announced a strategic partnership with GMHC, the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization, which will strengthen its current programming and will help both organizations work together to end the AIDS epidemic.

The event honored fashion designer and ACRIA board member Jason Wu with the Alison Gertz Young Leadership Award, presented by actress Diane Kruger, and photographer Anne Collier and White Columns Director and artist Matthew Higgs with the Artists Ending AIDS Award, presented by Raf Simons and Peter McGough. Additionally, a special Founders Award was given to ACRIA co-founder and long-time board president Ross Bleckner in recognition of his 27 years of leadership and service to the organization, presented by Calvin Klein.

Guests in attendance included ACRIA's Executive Director Benjamin Bashein, GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie, ACRIA Board President Stewart Shining, Judith Light, Peter Marino, Donna Karan, Joel Grey, Gillian Hearst Simonds, Jay Johnson & Tom Cashin, Stefano Tonchi, Kelly Rutherford, David Kleinberg, Dana Delany, Jeremy Kost, Michael Lorber, Jack Pierson, Dennis Basso, Hope Atherton, Peter Davis, Alyson Cafiero, Saksia de Brauw, Frank de Biasi & Gene Meyer, Trisha Donnelly, David Fox & Christopher Stone, Casey Fremont, Trish Goff, Bennett Jonas, Cordell Broadus, Jane Keltner de Valle, Casey Kenyon, Anton Kern, Brian Sawyer, Sam Shahid, Julia Sherman, George Sotelo, Simon Spurr, Gary & Cathy Wassner, Alan Wanzenberg, Michael Ward Stout, and more.

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