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Housing Works
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Alina Cho, honoree John Demsey, Barbara Corcoran, Matthew Bernardo, honoree Tamron Hall, James Haniford and Cynthia Frankel attend the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards Dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)

Major stars like Sandra Lee, Willie Geist, Bevy Smith and more showed up for the 5th Annual Housing Works Groundbreakers Dinner.  The event, which took place in the heart of Chelsea at the Metropolitan Pavilion, honored those who are going above and beyond the call to duty to combat HIV/AIDS and homelessness.  The event was hosted by entertainer extraordinaire Alan Cumming and honored award-winning journalist Tamron Hall and Executive Group President, Estee Lauder Companies John Demsey.

Housing Works is a New York-based organization that provides supportive services and stable housing to the homeless and individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. The non-profit works with advocacy offices across the country and abroad to fight for funding and legislation to ensure all people living with HIV/AIDS have access to quality housing, healthcare, prevention information and other life-sustaining services.  This is an organization near and dear to my heart, and I was honored and happy to not only cover the red carpet but to go inside for the actual event.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Journalist and honoree Tamron Hall attends the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Journalist and honoree Tamron Hall attends the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)

Tamron Hall showed up in a gorgeous white dress and graciously accepted the award, who she dedicated to one of her favorite teachers who passed away from AIDS in the late 80’s.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Estee Lauder Executive Group President and Honoree John Demsey and journalist and editor Alina Cho attends the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards Dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Estee Lauder Executive Group President and Honoree John Demsey and journalist and editor Alina Cho attends the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards Dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)

John Demsey, the second honoree from Estee Lauder, told me he was simply thrilled with all the work his company has done.  “I am very proud of Mac Cosmetics and all the employees around the world who raise money every single day with Viva Glam lipsticks.  We have raised over 450 million dollars and giving funds to organizations like Housing Works is absolutely incredible.  I’m just behind the scenes, it’s amazing to be able to do something like this and keep a day job as well.”

Alan Cumming was a fabulous host and who kept the crowd laughing and informed throughout the evening.  There was a number to text in to donate for Housing Works, which raised thousands of dollars in a short two hour time frame.

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26:  Chair of the Groundbreaker Awards Dinner Sandra Lee and TV personality Bevy Smith attend the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards Dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 26: Chair of the Groundbreaker Awards Dinner Sandra Lee and TV personality Bevy Smith attend the Housing Works Ground Breaker Awards Dinner on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Housing Works)

Other celebrities in attendance was Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, lifestyle expert Bevy Smith, dinner chair Sandra Lee, and so much more.  Support for the Groundbreaker Awards was provided by ELLE DECOR, Benjamin Moore, MAC AIDS Fund, Incollect, The John Gore Organization, Matthijssen, 200 Lex / New York Design Center, Playmates Toys, The Points Guy, Whispering Angel/ Chateau D’ ESCLANS, and Double Cross Vodka.

For more information on Housing Works, check out their official site.