Nearly 1,000 gathered at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday night to celebrate Ali Forney Center’s annual A Place At The Table Gala. The event celebrated the AFC’s unwavering support for homeless LGBTQIA+ youth—a cause that resonated deeply with every attendee.
As the night began, VIP guests including Ariana deBose, Cynthia Nixon, Idina Menzel, Willy Chavarria, Sarah Burke, Jordan Roth and Christine Quinn were whisked away to a secret library, It turned into a cocktail party there. The attendees were a dynamic bunch. Wear crystal-encrusted shoes, shimmering sequined dresses, high heels, and boldly printed evening gowns—a testament to the individuality and freedom that the community embraces.
The evening’s agenda began by honoring its winners. Architectural Digest received a Community Partner Award for raising nearly $1 million to transform a Harlem townhouse into a new home for Ali Forney’s transgender and queer clients. The honor was presented by Anna Wintour and accepted by Amy Astley, Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Digest. Paolo Martini, Moderna’s chief scientific officer, and Jonathan Hawkins, owner of The Crown and Anchor, received the Distinguished Award for their outstanding contributions to the cause. Kimberly Howard, Special Projects Specialist with the New York City Department of Health, was honored with the Ali Forney Award for her unwavering commitment to improving the well-being of homeless individuals facing health, mental health and substance abuse issues.
AFC President and Executive Director Alex Roque A striking break-in was a (what appeared to be) bespoke powder-blue checked suit. When asked about his outfit tonight, he proudly revealed to Vogue, “It’s from Amazon. I’m not even kidding — I was supposed to be with Nordstrom gave it a go, but the timing wasn’t right.”
Indya Moore, hit series The star of Pose and a beloved icon in the community served as the evening’s character host. They entertain guests with check-in rules for the night: First, the bar will be closed for the speaking portion of the event, “Don’t be a sloppy drunk, Beyoncé will never order at the bar — and neither should you.” Finally, Moore Announcing that the silent auction will be conducted entirely through a virtual platform, highlighting the opportunity to support the AFC “while also showing off your spiritual and material wealth,” they said.
Before the dinner, Yoli Mayor came to the stage and moved everyone with a touching “Hallelujah”, leaving an indelible impression on everyone present. As the night wore on, drag darlings Marti Cummings and Robbie Gordy took the spotlight as the evening’s auctioneers, with their undeniable wit forcing guests to donate. A mischievous gleam flashed in Cummings’ eyes, and he said loudly, “Come on! $000,000 is nothing – that’s the Birkin!” The crowd erupted in laughter and applause, fueling the generosity by raising $1.88 million.
Donations Fly in the Air A fun display of support as attendees recognize that their generous donations will protect homeless LGBTQIA+ youth and provide them with the full range of services they need to thrive , the whole room was filled with joy.