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The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center 's (ADARC) Inaugural Irene Diamond Award Gala
10/15/2009 - By New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center

The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center 's (ADARC) Inaugural Irene Diamond Award Gala

More than 350 business and community leaders joined The Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (ADARC) to honor former President Bill Clinton with the inaugural Irene Diamond Award at a gala dinner in New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The Gala raised $1.15 million to support ADARC's mission to defeat HIV/AIDS through scientific research. Actress Lucy Liu hosted the evening, which included appearances by Dr. David Ho,Wynton Marsalis, Magic Johnson, Dr. David Baltimore.

The Irene Diamond Award is a tribute to ADARC's founder Irene Diamond, who died six years ago at the age of 92. With her late husband Aaron, a real estate developer, she created the foundation that bears her name. In 1991, at a time when AIDS research was acutely underfunded, her determined idealism led her to establish ADARC to pursue scientific solutions to the epidemic. Mrs. Diamond's generosity was inspired by a sense of personal responsibility for those affected, and her faith in the power of committed individuals to be catalysts for public good.

Over a period of little more than a decade the Fund along with the Aaron Diamond Foundation has distributed more than $220 million, including $50 earmarked for AIDS.

From her own fund, Mrs. Diamond made major gifts to Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New York City Ballet, the Dance Theater of Harlem and the New York Public Library. President Clinton recognized her philanthropy in 1999 with the National Medal of Honor.

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.

Guests included Gina and David Chu, Dr. Marty Markowitz, Agnes Gund, Walter Wang, Jane Silver, Theresa and Frank Hau, Michael Dell, Beatrice Hahn, Mark Goldberger, Susan Ho,Baroness Monica von Zadora-Gerlof, Michel Witmer, Stephanie Sozomenu, Gordon Davis, Jane Silver, Bob Lanier, Dr. Sandy Vasam, Fred Bowen, Sarah Schlesinger, Joseph Kennedy, Lucia Hwong Gordon, Dr. Gerald and Gail Friedlander,
Richard Teh, Miranda Wong Tang, Dr. Paul Bienaisz, Patty Tong, Van Dalachandar, Liz McGovern, Shau-wai Lam, Jean Young, Dr. Theodora Hatziioannou, Ron Weiner, Dominic McHugh, Adam Silver, Alice Park, Daren Bagert, Dr. Paul Bienaisz, Jane and Philip Weingold, Rowena Johnston, Eric Holoman, Miranda Wong Tang, Gregory Boroff, Huang Ruo, John Canemaker, Steve Goff, Shau-wai Lam and Van Dalachandar.

Photos: Clint Spalding/PatrickMcMullan.com

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