Bennah Serfaty, Senior Director of Communications: (212) 806-1607, email@example.com
Louisa Fruehauf, amfAR Media Relations Associate: (212) 806-1632, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Gigounas, Glodow Nead Communications: (415) 394-6500, email@example.com
amfAR’s Inaugural Charity Poker Tournament Bring Celebrities, Professional Poker Players to San Francisco to Raise Funds for AIDS Research
San Francisco, CA, November 19, 2018— Robin Wright, Karolina Kurkova, Jay Ellis and Mia Maestro were among the notables who attended amfAR’s Inaugural Charity Poker Tournament on Saturday, November 17 at the private residence of Event Chairs Ann and Gordon Getty in San Francisco. Guests were invited to buy-in to the tournament for a chance to play with professional poker players Antonio Esfandiari, Scott Blumstein and Jeff Gross while raising funds for amfAR, an organization dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research. The black-tie gala included the tournament, live auction, a special performance by esteemed singer/songwriter CeeLo Green and comedy and magic by Netflix Star Justin Willman. The event also featured Perrier-Jouët Champagne and signature Absolut Elyx vodka cocktails.
Notable attendees also included Vanessa and Billy Getty, Ken Fulk, Tolan and Tyler Florence, Shannon and Peter Getty, Tatum Getty, Ali Sonsini, Malin Giddings, Archie Drury, Nina Senicar, Gerhard Gulewicz, Dr. Mervyn and Deborah Silverman, Dr. Ray Schinazi and Nadira Mansour and more.
During a mid-event break from the tournament, celebrated actress, philanthropist and event host Robin Wright welcomed guests and spoke to the impact their support would make in potentially ending the AIDS epidemic. Wright then introduced Dr. Paul Volberding, Professor of Medicine at UCSF, Director of the UCSF AIDS Research Institute and Director of the amfAR Institute for HIV Cure Research.
Vanessa Getty endearingly introduced her cousin, Aileen Getty, who spoke remotely to the crowd about her personal experience fighting health complications as a result of being HIV positive, and the importance of funding research.
Supermodel Karolina Kurkova introduced auctioneer Gabriel Butu-Boyle who then conducted an exciting live auction with the following items up for bid:
- Never before published photos of singer/songwriter, producer and fashion designer, Pharell Williams, photographed by celebrity photographer Robert Astley-Spark.
- An exclusive, limited edition pair of His and Hers Harry Winston watches from Winston’s timeless Midnight Collection.
- “A Southeast Asian Journey to Wellness and Spirituality” experience from Rosewood Hotels and Resorts. The package included a four-night stay at Rosewood Phuket followed by a three-night stay in Rosewood Luang Prabang’s hilltop tented suites. The Rosewood Phuket experience also included a full-day, immersive experience at Asaya, Rosewood’s groundbreaking Wellness facility. The visit to Rosewood Luang Prasbang included a Royal Laotian Banquet or Cooking Masterclass by the resort’s executive chef.
- A photoshoot by Celebrity Photographer Robert Astley-Sparke at San Francisco landmark, St. Joseph’s, which was recently restored by Interior Designer Ken Fulk and is now home to Fulk’s renowned Saint Joseph’s Arts Society.
- A limited edition Cervelo RCA Roadbike and one-on-one cycling session with World-champion Cyclist Gerhard Gulewicz in Austria. The package included roundtrip airfare for two to Austria and a two-night stay in a five-star hotel.
Following the auction, Ken Fulk introduced CeelLo Green. Guests enjoyed Green’s soulful performance before Antonio Esfandiari announced the last nine players of the tournament and guests were invited to watch the finalists play the evening’s last round.
The gala’s event chairs included Lynne and Marc Benioff, Ken Fulk, Aileen Getty, Ann and Gordon Getty, and Gavin Newsom. Co-Chairs included James Bailey and Devon Aoki, Jonathan and Criselda Breene, Archie Drury and Karolina Kurkova, Alexander and Tatum Getty, Shannon and Peter Getty, Vanessa and Billy Getty, Gerhard Gulewicz, Jason Kim, Philipp Meyer-Schmeling, Boris Nikolic, Johan Ernst Nilson, Raymond Schinazi, Bradford Shellhammer and Mena Suvari.
Pernod Ricard was the event’s Signature Partner, featuring Perrier-Jouët Champagne and Absolut Elyx Vodka. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. Four Seasons Hotels San Francisco was the Official Hotel of the event.
Wines were generously provided by Ann and Gordon Getty.
The amfAR Inaugural Charity Poker Tournament was produced by Josh Wood Productions.
For more information, please visit http://amfar.org/poker2018.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and advocacy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $517 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.