New Yorkers have a romanticized view of our fair city: When you're surrounded by luxury and made to feel like you're living at the center of the universe, it's easy to forget that we're also living in a high-risk community for HIV/AIDS. Last night, some of our favorite celebs and Manhattanites, including
Lily and Rufus
Kelly Rutherford and Matthew Settle, stepped out for the Love Heals Gala at The Four Seasons Restaurant to support AIDS education and shine a light on the topic. The Love Heals
Gala provided a venue to ignite conversation about a topic that, not so long ago, was on the tip of everyone's tongues, but has since faded into the background of more hot-button issues, as so many news items tend to do. But just because an illness isn't heavily discussed doesn't mean it fails to strike.
Perhaps more pressing is the way HIV/AIDS isn't covered in many sexual education programs in schools. Sure, sex-ed addresses the complications that can arise from an active
lifestyle , but far too often this education focuses on pregnancy or, as guest speaker Jah Love pointed out, neglects to mention homosexual practices. Love Heals addresses this problem by sponsoring programs to educate, and thus further prevent, the spread of HIV/AIDS across the country.
Last night's event raised $400,000 with the help of some very generous Upper-East-Siders, while guests were entertained by the emcee stylings of InStyle
's Hal Rubenstein and, lucky us, a farewell lullaby of "Your Song" performed by Cheyenne Jackson. Though emotional speeches left many a teary eye in the crowd, there was also an overwhelming sense of celebrating the success of the organization and its important mission. Click through to see our favorite snaps from the party!
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFAnyc.com