Blog: Kick 4 Life Gala at Suite 36
The parallel between children and sports is often established during our formative years- competitively with our friends, following in the footsteps of our parents, captivated by larger than life athletes that become icons based on their abilities. Just as kids utilize sport to build friendships and develop camaraderie with others, Kick4Life is an organization that utilizes sport to give back to kids. Tuesday night, the charity hosted their second annual Fall Gala at the newly opened Suite 36 space in midtown, rolling out the red carpet for athletes and celebrity guests to help raise funds during an evening celebration.
Kick4Life’s primary focus is around HIV prevention for the boys and girls living in Lesotho Africa, home to the third highest HIV rate in the world at a shocking 23.6%. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the group aims at delivering education and advocacy for prevention, testing and mentoring, raising awareness through the use of sports. With more than 100,000 children orphaned as a result of the disease, the use of sports to initiate positive change has been a godsend of sorts for the region’s disadvantaged youths in the seven years since the nonprofit organization has been in existence.
Some 300 guests would arrive at Suite 36 on Tuesday night in support of the Kick4Life gala. With tickets priced at $125, the evening would offer various silent auction items, a full open bar, passed around hors d’oeuvres and a group performing interpretive dance as attendees would enter the space. The 2013 gala event would also honor Tucker Robbins, whose efforts toward cultivating international cultures over 25 years has been recognized by many interior and fashion designers and hoteliers as having brought many inventive forms of global partnerships into mainstream America.
Arriving to emcee the fall gala, reality television judge and supermodel in his own right Tyson Beckford entered the now packed venue shortly after 8pm. Donning a red velvet smoking jacket and a black bow tie, the organization’s ambassador was all smiles, posing for countless pictures before taking his place at the makeshift podium and appropriately moderating the event. Notables from the world of soccer included former US National Team Captain Claudio Reyna and current New York/New Jersey Red Bulls’ Markus Holgersson and Andre Akpan, before Violin Diva Sarina Suno, stood atop the bar in the center of the room, performing the choruses to some current top 40 hits. Other attendees included actress Penny McNamee and recording artist Natascha Bessez, who made heads turn on the red carpet in her stunning dress. But despite the cavalcade of personalities that attended the Kick4Life Gala, the totality of the event highlighted a cause in an area of the world that probably doesn’t receive enough attention. But hopefully with each passing event and annual gala, and with each celebrity that speaks out in favor of supporting Lesotho and in HIV prevention, we will drive the percentage of those afflicted much further down.