December 1, 2009 (New York, NY): In honor of World AIDS Day and in commemoration of those individuals persevering in the fight against the epidemic worldwide, AID FOR AIDS International hosted its 9th annual My Hero Gala at the Puck Building in New York City. Each year, the My Hero Gala celebrates the courage to make a difference, this year focusing on the theme of “Life Delivery”. AID FOR AIDS International (AFAI) works every day to deliver life to individuals living with HIV and AIDS in developing countries: delivering life in the form of medication, education, social services, empowerment, and training.
This year’s distinguished honorees included: Dr. Julio Jose Frenk Mora, Dean of Harvard’s School of Public Health, for his tireless work to improve care for people living with HIV and AIDS through public policy reform; actor Mark Consuelos, for his unrelenting commitment to raise awareness in the fight against HIV and AIDS; Scotiabank for their unprecedented leadership in corporate responsibility programs on HIV and AIDS; and Daphne Rivera, for her role as an activist working to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV. These individuals were chosen and recognized by AFAI’s Board of Directors, including, gala co-chairs Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos and Narciso Rodriguez, as well as Alejandro Santo Domingo, Maria Eugenia Maury Arria, Christian Mürrle, Blanca La Salle, and Claudia Cisneros.
In addition to the honorees, the evening’s illustrious guests included designer Carolina Herrera, Mexican Ambassador to the US Arturo Sarukhán, Latin Grammy-winning singer Milly Quezada, NBC’s Lynda Baquero, Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez, architect Richard Meier, and cast members of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, Caroline Manzo, Dina Manzo, Jacqueline Laurita, and Teresa Giudice.
All proceeds from the event go directly to fund AFAI’s programs and services- all of which are developed to improve access to healthcare services, increase knowledge about HIV, and instigate social reform to improve the political response to the epidemic.