The Red Carpet was glittering on Thursday night at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, as Hollywood celebrities, social media influencers, models, philanthropists and politicians posed for the cameras as they arrived for the ninth annual amfAR Gala Los Angeles.
This year’s Gala honored Pop-superstar Katy Perry and TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, who were presented with amfAR’s Award of Courage in recognition of their commitment to the fight against AIDS and other humanitarian causes.
Among the many celebrities spotted on the Red Carpet: Zack Bia, Ian Bohen, Matt Bomer, JR Bourne, Charlie Carver, Jon Corzine, Tara Dollinger, Tommy Dorfman, Carmen Electra, Max Emerson and Andres Camilo, Eve, Mayor Eric Garcetti, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Gigi Gorgeous and Nats Getty, Kat Graham, Anwar Hadid, Delilah Belle Hamlin, Tricia Helfer, Barron Hilton, Tyler Hoechlin, Sarah Hyland, Kandee Johnson, Victoria Justice, Jaime King, Viktor Luna, Gilles Marini, Ongina, Robert Pattinson, Tyler Posey, Grant Reynolds, Luka Sabbat, Katee Sackhoff, Jeremy Scott, Milissa Sears, Stephanie Shepard, Travis Shinn, Robin Thicke, Luke Wessman, Rumer Willis, Brittany Xavier and others were also in attendance. And of course, Perry.
Many people on the Red Carpet were asked how they might envision the moment when, as amfAR dreams of announcing in 2020, a cure for AIDS is found.
Perry told Variety’s Marc Malkin, “I would go out to the streets dancing,” she said. “Just dancing and holding people and throw just like one big dance party.”
Heidi Klum told Los Angeles Blade, “that would be an amazing day, the day millions of people around the world are given hope that they could live a full life.”
Rumer Willis, actress daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore said she hopes the event will “remove the stigma around HIV and AIDS. Millions of people should not live in fear.”
August Getty come out because “it’s important for the next generation to get involved. We are all impacted by AIDS and we need to recognize it.”
Inside the event, Darren Criss, on guitar, sang a medley of Perry’s biggest hits following a welcome from Creative Artist Agency powerhouse Kevin Huvane.
Chris Tucker greeted the audience and performed before introducing amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. Frost thanked sponsors and donors for making the evening possible. He also recognized guests who have been pioneers in the fight against AIDS, remarking that “our continued success, and ultimately, our quest to find a cure for this disease will be determined by committed individuals, just like all of you.”
Producer and entrepreneur Liz Heller presented the amfAR Award of Courage to TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie, sharing stories of his work with South African youth affected by HIV/AIDS. Accepting his award, Blake Mycoskie shared his experience of losing a loved one to AIDS, and noted that “5,000 people still contract HIV every day.” He reminded guests that their support makes them “the hero in the story” of ending AIDS.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti presented Katy Perry with the Courage Awards and she jokingly told the audience she hoped he would do something about “those fucking Bird scooters” but quickly returned praise to the Mayor for his loving words. “I’ve never had anyone speak about me like that.”
At one point during her speech, a wistful Perry waxed political: “Today I understand a courageous life is the only one worth living and courage can’t always be easily defined but we all know it when we see it, especially when we feel it. It goes without saying that we are living in a bit of a tumultuous time but it’s times like these that courage tends to catch the light and sparkle for all to see.”
Hundred of thousands of dollars were raised during the silent auction; Perry offered herself up for a tour of Disneyland, “If you have kids who love me, I’ll sing ‘Roar,’” an offer that spiraled into the stratosphere and garnering a winning bid of $170,000 from Heather Lang and Blake Mycoskie.
A lunch with Mycoskie, founder of TOMS, the popular online charitable retailer, was auctioned off for more than $150,000.
Other popular items like a golf outing and lunch with Andy Garcia for four guests; a private evening for 40 guests with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff at The Nice Guy featuring libations from Absolut Elyx Vodka and Perrier-Jouët Champagne; a luxury truffle hunting excursion for six guests, which included three nights at the Locanda del Pilone in Piedmont, Italy, Michelin-starred white truffle dinner, and private tour and wine tasting at Boroli estate with Achille Boroli; a Rolex “DeepSea” Edition watch signed by H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco and tickets to the Monte-Carlo Gala for the Global Ocean; and an exclusive invitation to attend the 2019 Monaco ePrix and gala dinner as the guest of H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco.
After the auction, hosted by Heidi Klum, a donation match of up to $50,000 was issued by global investment firm Bain Capital. Donations were made in honor of amfAR Award of Courage recipient Blake Mycoskie, who partnered with Bain Capital in 2014 to help TOMS further its mission. Longtime amfAR supporter Fredrik Eklund kicked off the cash call with a $30,000 donation.
The evening raised more than $1.7 million for amfAR’s lifesaving research programs.
Dame Shirley Bassey ended the night with a spectacular orchestral performance of “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Almost Like Being in Love,” “I Am What I Am,” and “Goldfinger.” After the moving and powerful performance, guests attended the after party at Delilah, the exclusive Los Angeles club.