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GMHC Raises More Than $600,000 At Its Annual Gala


Joan H. Tisch (in memoriam), presented by Michael Douglas
Hon. Corey Johnson, Speaker, NYC City Council, presented by Javier Muñoz
Pride Media (Nathan Coyle, CEO), presented by Billy Porter
Phill Wilson, Founder, Black AIDS Institute, presented by Oriol Gutierrez
With a tribute to the Time's Up Movement featuring Julianne Moore

All Proceeds Benefit Services for Thousands of New Yorkers
Living with and Affected by HIV & AIDS


New York, NY–Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) held its Annual Gala on Tuesday, October 9, where nearly 400 supporters gathered for a seated dinner and awards presentation at New York City’s Plaza Hotel to raise more than $600,000 to benefit GMHC’s services for thousands of men, women, and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Distinguished honorees included long-time trustee Joan H. Tisch (in memoriam), whose son Jonathan Tisch accepted the inaugural Joan H. Tisch Award for Community Service and Philanthropy from Oscar-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas; New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who was presented with the Larry Kramer Activism Award by Broadway star Javier Muñoz; Black AIDS Institute President and CEO Phill Wilson, who was presented with the Judith Peabody Humanitarian Award by POZ Editor-in-Chief Oriol Gutierrez; and publisher Pride Media (OUT, The Advocate), whose CEO Nathan Coyle was presented with the Corporate Impact Award by Tony Award-winning actor Billy Porter. Additionally, there was a special tribute to the Time’s Up Movement by Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore.

The evening also included a luxury auction and a paddle raise, led by Christie’s auctioneer Caroline Ervin.

“We have achieved so much in our fight against HIV and AIDS, and today’s treatments are great advances. They are, however, yesterday’s advances,” said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. “But when I worry about how much work still lies ahead, I am full of gratitude that the leaders we honored at our Annual Gala helped make GMHC what it is today, and it gives me hope that so many people in the room were there to continue those leaders’ work and legacy.”

Jonathan Tisch, accepting his award on behalf of the Tisch family, spoke movingly of his late mother and her commitment to GMHC, recounting a story of how his mother, as an anonymous GMHC volunteer in the mid-1980s, was asked to witness the will-signing of a 23-year-old man dying of AIDS. In recognition of the Tisch family’s continued support of GMHC, Jonathan Tisch announced that GMHC’s new headquarters at 307 West 38th Street will be named in honor of Joan Tisch.

Johnson, the first openly HIV-positive Speaker of the New York City Council, thanked GMHC Co-Founder Larry Kramer and other early AIDS activists for paving the way for someone like Johnson to not only be alive today, but to be in such a powerful position. He then challenged the audience to step up and do more to support GMHC and help end the AIDS epidemic.

“We need to ask ourselves: are we really serious about ending this epidemic, or is it just a slogan?” Johnson said. “If we are serious, we need to commit ourselves to this. Because what people who are diagnosed with HIV and AIDS need right now is a new generation of Larry Kramers, of Peter Staleys, of Ann Northrops, of Joan Tisches, of Phill Wilsons. That’s what we need. They did their part. So if we are serious, I want you to commit to ending it for real. Commit to moving heaven and earth to end this once and for all. I can tell you that I am.”

GMHC’s signature gala fundraising event has raised millions of dollars since the organization's founding 36 years ago. Other guests included influential leaders and activists dedicated to supporting GMHC’s programs, including Jason Wu, GMHC Co-Founder Larry Mass, Joy Tomchin, Ted Ackerman and Geremy Kawaller, Jon Mallow and Brian Jones, incoming OUT Editor-in-Chief Phillip Picardi, David S. Boger, Peter De Staebler and Timothy S. Martin, Julie Fink and Katie Aylwin, Ari Ginsburg and Ryan Zanin, Joe Hall and Martin Dagata, Michael C. Harwood (Board Co-Chair) and Theo Dorian, Louis Bradbury, and Geoffrey Hoefer and Thomas Wei.

Event photos available to download
(credit: Tiffany Sage/

Caption information/to download directly from

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 13,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include: testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit