On November 4, 2011, The Foundation for AIDS Research, amfAR, presented Violet Eyes in the Red City: An amfAR Affair. Held at the lavish Ken Fulk Studio, the event was a magical evening of philanthropy and Moroccan fantasy.
The evening began with an exclusive dinner prepared by renowned Chef Gary Danko. Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen hosted the dinner and presented a special memorial tribute to amfAR’s Founding International Chairman, Dame Elizabeth Taylor. amfAR CEO, Kevin Frost, explained the significance of the homage. “One of Elizabeth Taylor’s signature movies, Cleopatra, was filmed in Marrakesh, Morocco. It was an important time in her life. Ms. Taylor was very important to this organization, and we wanted to pay tribute to her tonight.” Dinner guests were treated to a musical performance from Alan Cummings. Guests then participated in a live auction that included personal items contributed by Alan Cummings and Andy Cohen, which earned $10,000 for amfAR.
Following the seated dinner, Andy Cohen talked about his eight-year support of amfAR. “amfAR is the number one organization dedicated to finding a cure for AIDS, and it is very important to me. We all have a responsibility to get behind this cause.” His enthusiasm and support continued, “This is such a great event, I love this city, and I’m so happy to be here.”
At 9:00 P.M., the event expanded into an opulent, Moroccan-themed party, with over 500 guests decked out in beautiful Moroccan clothing, jewels, and colors. The crowd was transported Morocco with spiced hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and fabulous cocktails. The excitement rose to its peak when guests were treated to a 30-minute concert by the legendary R&B artist, Chaka Khan. Her lively set included all of the greatest hits and the entire crowd was on its feet. Following Chaka Khan’s performance, the evening continued on with dancing courtesy of DJ Kiss.
After the event, Kevin Frost paused to discuss amfAR’s purpose. “We are invested in research. Research is like building blocks that form a foundation of knowledge. Amfar has played a major role in that foundation.” When asked what the future holds for amfAR, he replied, “Our mission is to find the cure to AIDS and put ourselves out of business. I am increasingly confident that we will find a cure, and I look forward to the day when we can close our doors.”
Violet Eyes in the Red City: An amfAR Affair raised nearly $450,000 for AIDS research. To support this worthy cause, visit http://www.amfar.org/
Photographer: Drew Altizer