amfAR Los Angeles Gala 2017
Los Angeles, CA, October 14, 2017— Tom Hanks, James Corden, Diane Sawyer, Heidi Klum, Melanie Griffith, Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Sean Penn, Sophia Bush, Dermot Mulroney, Dita Von Teese, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at Ron Burkle's Historic Green Acres Estate last night for the eighth annual amfAR Gala Los Angeles. The event paid tribute to Academy Award-winning actress, Julia Roberts, in recognition of her profound commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as countless other humanitarian causes. The gala, presented by Harry Winston, M•A•C Viva Glam, and AMTD Group, raised over $2 million for amfAR’s life-saving research programs.
The evening opened with a lively and humorous introduction by host James Corden, who announced a surprise performance by Chris Martin. Martin opened with an acoustic rendition of “Pretty Woman,” and later welcomed James Corden back on stage for a captivating duet of “Nothing Compares 2U.”
Following the performance, longtime amfAR supporter, Cheyenne Jackson, thanked the evening’s sponsors and introduced amfAR Chairman of the Board, Kenneth Cole. Cole mentioned the devastation caused by recent tragedies around the world, including hurricanes, mass shootings, and destructive fires, and remarked how “tonight, we can at least feel encouraged by knowing we are working together to address a crisis that we are doing something about.” He reinforced the importance of putting an end to the global AIDS crisis, and acknowledged the donors in the room who were doing their part in helping to make the epidemic history.
The night culminated with a heartfelt and entertaining tribute to Julia Roberts by Tom Hanks and a show stopping performance by Fergie. When Tom Hanks took the stage to present the amfAR Award of Courage to Julia Roberts, he opened saying “I can’t say enough good things about Julia Roberts.” He spoke about his admiration for her as an actor, a mother, a wife and a humanitarian, applauding her work with numerous causes including the One Foundation and the RED campaign, and spoke of her recent trip to Africa to deliver vaccines to children in need. He also commended the guests on their support of amfAR, saying “we’re a couple decades into this and AIDS is going to be history in time.”
In her acceptance speech, Julia Roberts remarked that the fight against HIV/AIDS is at a “tipping point,” as deaths related to the disease have halved in the past ten years due to life saving treatments. She said that facts like these give her courage and, “if we don’t take our foot off the gas – by 2020 we could ensure that no children will be born with HIV anymore, becoming the first HIV free generation!” Julia concluded her words with a call to action, to “give and give and give to assist this valiant mission to find a cure for AIDS and bring peace to the lives of those who suffer.”
The night ended with a lively performance by eight-time GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum artist Fergie who had everyone out of their seats and dancing. Fergie performed “You Already Know” from her new album Double Dutchess, as well as established hits such as “Glamorous,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” As she sang the last song of the evening, “I Gotta Feeling,” she invited guests to the stage and pledged a donation to amfAR in their honor. Julia Roberts, Dita Von Teese, Connie Britton, Julianne Nicholson, Bethenny Frankel, Selita Ebanks, Ongina, and others joined Fergie on stage for a final bow.
For more images from the event, click here.
To learn more about Harry Winston’s partnership with amfAR, click here.
Discover the Countdown To A Cure Timepiece awarded to Julia Roberts.