“Thank you for helping me live,” says CANFAR ambassador Muluba Habanyama.
Bloor Street Entertains, the annual fundraiser for the Canadian Foundation for Aids Research, has turned into one of the A+ fashion events of the Toronto social scene. The evening starts with intimate dinners in boutiques and other special settings in the Bloor/Yorkville neighbourhood, an area that was particularly devastated when Aids first hit in the ‘80s, taking the lives of so many hairstylists, makeup artists, window dressers and waiters who worked in the hood.
The night ends with a rousing dance party at the Four Seasons Hotel, which last night was a sea of sequins including the Beckerman twins decked out in Oscar gold. But it was the words spoken by CANFAR ambassador Muluba Habanyama as she roamed some of the venues that drove home the mission of the night: raising funds to support innovative research, awareness programs focused on prevention and testing, improving treatment and care and ending HIV stigma. After explaining some of the challenges she has faced since being diagnosed HIV positive when she was two, Habanyama, now 26, ended with a simple, “Thank you for helping me live.”
One guest at the Louis Vuitton dinner was so moved, he got up from the table and bought Habanyama a purse, before committing a sizable donation to the cause. Now that’s style.