amfAR Raises $3.5m at Second Annual Gala in Palm Beach

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Palm Beach, FL, March 15, 2023 — amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, held its second annual Palm Beach fundraising gala on Saturday, March 11, 2023, at the home of Event Chairs Michele and Howard Kessler. 

“I am deeply grateful to Michele and Howard Kessler and to all of our guests who so generously supported amfAR in Palm Beach last night. It is only with their continued support and dedication that we can get closer to developing a cure for HIV/AIDS.” said Kevin Robert Frost, amfAR Chief Executive Officer.

In her remarks, Michele Kessler noted that her family’s support for amfAR comes from a desire to “improve the health and well-being of all people, through investments in education, medical research, human services, and community organizations.” On stage, amfAR Board Co-Chairs Kevin McClatchy and T. Ryan Greenawalt emphasized the importance of continuing to support innovative HIV research studies with breakthrough potential.

Award-winning singer and actress Jane Krakowski opened the evening with a welcome message and beautiful renditions of Bei Mir Bist Du Schön and Don’t Cry Out Loud.

The evening continued with a live auction that included a variety of artworks and one-of-a kind luxury items and experiences. Auction items included: a commissioned Deborah Brown piece, an intimate evening with Andrea Bocelli and family, both of which were so popular were sold twice, a Daniel Boulud dining experience, and more. Two highlights of the evening were a George Condo, which sold for $1,100,000, and a surprise auction item, which was a day of golf with Greg Norman and Wayne Gretzky.

Florida has the third-highest rate of new HIV infections in the U.S., after Washington, DC, and Georgia. Close to 130,000 people in Florida are living with HIV, including about 8,400 in Palm Beach County. Only about 70% of them are virally suppressed (receiving consistent care), which falls far below the U.S. government’s target of 95%. amfAR has supported scientific studies at research institutions in Southern Florida since 1986 and has awarded over 90 grants totaling $6 million in the region. Three grants supported community-based education projects in West Palm Beach.

Aston Martin and Brioni were the evening’s sponsors and the event was also supported by Boroli Wines, Piper-Heidsieck, RUMOR Rosé, UOVO, and Clase Azul Tequila Gold.
About amfAR 
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 nearly $617 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,500 grants to research teams worldwide. 
Contact: Bennah Serfaty, amfAR Senior Director, Communications,