The Irene Diamond Award Gala
October 15, 2009
More than 350 business and community leaders joined ADARC in honoring President Bill Clinton with the inaugural Irene Diamond Award at a gala dinner in New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 15. The Gala raised $1.15 million for ADARC's mission to defeat HIV/AIDS through scientific research. Actress Lucy Liu hosted the evening, which included appearances by Wynton Marsalis, Magic Johnson, Dr. David Baltimore and Dr. David Ho.
The Irene Diamond Award is a tribute to ADARC's founder Irene Diamond. Her determined idealism led her to establish ADARC in 1991 to pursue scientific solutions to the epidemic at a time when AIDS research was acutely underfunded. Mrs. Diamond's philanthropy was inspired by her sense of personal responsibility to those affected, and her faith in the power of committed individuals to be catalysts for public good.
Dr. David Ho remembered Mrs. Diamond's courage, compassion and intellectual curiosity, which compelled her to fight the epidemic by establishing the first private laboratory dedicated to HIV/AIDS resarch -- an investment that realized dramatic returns when a few years later ADARC pioneered antiretroviral therapy.
Magic Johnson attested to the impact of ADARC's breakthroughs on the lives of people affected by HIV/AIDS. Mr. Johnson presented the Irene Diamond Award -- Rafael Viñoly's striking design with a single red rose embedded in a crystalline diamond -- to President Clinton, and recognized his tireless efforts to bring life-saving antiretroviral therapy to millions.
President Clinton emphasized the critical link between scientific advances pioneered at ADARC and his own work lowering the cost of medications and providing access to treatment in developing nations through the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative.
Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, former chairman of ADARC's Scientific Advisory Board, spoke of key ADARC breakthroughs that have redefined our understanding of HIV and changed the course of clinical care for patients. He introduced an original documentary video by Renata Simone about Irene Diamond's role in establishing ADARC, and its history, accomplishments and mission.
ADARC is grateful to the many friends and benefactors whose support made the inaugural Irene Diamond Award Gala a success. Funds raised will directly support innovative research into HIV's structure and function, development of next-generation therapeutics and vaccines, and new prevention strategies.
We hope you will be inspired by Irene Diamond's and President Clinton's commitment to the cause. To make a gift, please visit ADARC's giving center or contact Gary Gailor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212/448-5069.