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Award Winning Actress Mary-Louise Parker hosted GMHC's 30th Anniversary Gala

Duane Reade, Timothy Sweeney and the Rudin Family were honored; The event raised close to $600,000 for GMHC

Media Contacts:
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016

New York, NY — On April 18, Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), the nation's oldest AIDS service organization, commemorated its 30th anniversary last evening at a fundraising gala at Gotham Hall.  Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Mary-Louise Parker, was the evening's host. Ellen Degeneres sent a taped message congratulating GMHC.  The evening highlighted the agency's 30 years of prevention, care and advocacy services for thousands affected by HIV/AIDS and honored three outstanding corporate, social justice and charitable leaders:  Duane Reade, corporate sponsor of AIDS Walk New York; Timothy Sweeney, President and CEO of the Gill Foundation; and the Rudin Family, one of New York's leading philanthropic families.  The event's menu was prepared by the renowned chef of Butter and The Darby and Food Network TV Star, Alexandra Guarnaschelli.

"We are profoundly humbled and grateful for the remarkable leadership, commitment and philanthropy of our three honorees," said Marjorie Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "Through their collective legacy and support, they keep GMHC moving forward -and strong, effective and resilient."

Dr. Hill paid homage to two of GMHC's founders, Larry Kramer and Lawrence Mass, MD, for their extraordinary leadership from the start of the epidemic in 1981, and also acknowledged  the organization's additional four founders, three of whom had succumb to the disease.  Robbie Branda gave a touching speech about being diagnosed with HIV and finding GMHC as a salvation to his struggle living with the disease.  Robin Costa, President, Duane Reade Charitable Foundation, accepted the Corporate Leadership award on behalf of Duane Reade; Beth Rudin DeWoody and Eric Rudin accepted the Rudin Family's Judith Peabody Humanitarian award.  New York City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, gave a proclamation saluting the organization.

The Honorable David Dinkins, BD Wong, Isaac Mizrahi, William Wackermann  (Executive Vice President, Conde Nast), Bob Tuschman (President, Food Network), Peter Lichtenthal (President,  Bumble & bumble) were also in attendance.

Since the beginning, GMHC has been at the forefront in the fight against AIDS.  In the summer of 1981, a group of six gay men, and their friends, gathered in a New York apartment to address the "gay cancer" and raise money for research.  Over the next three decades, GMHC has continued to lead the fight through its activism, innovative HIV prevention and testing programs, and comprehensive care services including legal services, mental health support and nutritious meals - all offered free of charge to more than 11,000 men, women and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Sunday, May 20, 2012, GMHC will play host to thousands of New Yorkers for its annual AIDS Walk New York.


About GMHC
GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS.  We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City.  We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide.  Our mission:  GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.