Earth Day 2019: Restoring Wild At Grace Farms

April 23, 2019 - By 

The serene landscapes of rolling vistas, surprising natural wonders at every turn, and scenic backdrops of nature’s gifts all provide a masterful natural experience at Grace Farms. Set throughout over eighty acres of preserved natural lands, the thoroughly modern cultural oasis aims to inspire thoughtful introspection, insightful conversation, garner unexpected outcomes, and bring individuals together from various backgrounds. Through thoughtful programming, the expert staff creates opportunities for education, inspiration, activity, and community engagement. Within Grace Farms’ Nature initiative, Earth Day programming remains an annual highlight, and this year’s swiftly approaching Earth Day celebration aims to encapsulate the importance of restoring wilderness, developing sustainable environments for wildlife to thrive, and maintaining ecosystems and infrastructures necessary for native species to return to their previously abandoned homes.

Earth Day 2019 at Grace Farms will see a collaborative effort with The Nature Conservancy, wherein all individuals will be invited to participate in expert-led discussions and informational sessions, family friendly activities, and other special programming designed to celebrate Earth Day. On Saturday, April 27th, Grace Farms will welcome all visitors to participate within these special adventures, from 10:00AM until 6:00PM. An annual tradition at Grace Farms, Earth Day celebrations are revered by all visitors, and staff alike. During last year’s Earth Day programming, Grace Farms Foundation’s Nature Initiative Director Mark Fowler stated that “the future of conservation is all about private land and open space being preserved for wildlife habitats. Open space and access to nature are leveling factors that bring a quality of life for all people. Nature connects us to something real that grounds us and lifts our spirits.” With such importance placed on humanity’s interaction with nature, as well as the importance of restoring nature, Earth Day at Grace Farms is a tradition to look forward to, amidst the already-existing exuberant nature-based programming.

The celebrations will kick off at Interactive Meadows Plaza, featuring family friendly activities, various native plants, and an important demonstration from Pollinator Pathway, which will focus on the importance of sustainable ecosystems for pollinators. Within the structure of Grace Farms’ Nature incentive, extensive programming related to the power of pollination in terms of reviving natural splendors is already in motion, with events focusing on the revival of indigenous plants and wildlife.

Morning activities will continue with Habitats and Home, a facilitated workshop set in Grace Farms’ art studio and outdoors. The workshop is intended for families with children from three to ten years old, and will encourage children to learn about animal communities, and the manner in which animals build homes, through various interactive activities. Throughout the year, Grace Farms offers open time for families within the arts studio, as well as structured programming that inspires insightful conversation, and new revelations through aesthetic creation.

A recognized birding enclave, Grace Farms is home to over 75 species of birds. As part of this year’s Earth Day programming, Grace Farms will be offering guided Native Bird Walks, led by Master Birder Frank Mantlik. Set within Grace Farms’ walking trails, the Native Bird Walks are an exciting way to enjoy an outdoor activity and take in the sights and sounds of native birds in the preserved wetlands, ponds, and grasslands that make up Grace Farms. Following the conclusion of the walks, Grace Farms will once again welcome Master Falconer Brian Bradley, who will engross his audience with a live falconry demonstration, scheduled for 12:00PM, and 2:00PM. Previously enjoyed throughout prior Earth Day celebrations at Grace Farms, the Falconry demonstration will provide insights into the behavior, mannerisms, life, and grace of the falcon.

Other diverse programming will include various conversations with industry experts, ranging in topics, and designed to inspire conversation, consideration, and appreciation for the entwined relationships between nature, mankind, and the world around us. The first conversational programming will be titled “The Benefits of Rewilding”, led by the Director of Land Management at The Nature Conservancy, Dave Gumbart. This informational session will focus on the vital symbiotic relationship between native plants, and the birds and insects that rely on them for food and shelter. This topic is especially important for Grace Farms, as their Nature initiative strives to develop hospitable conditions that have already fostered the successful return of many native species of animals and hopes to provide sustainable conditions within the future. The second informational session will be titled “Restoring Native Meadows” and will feature a conversation with the Founder of Pennington Grey, Penn Marchael. This session will revolve around planting and the long-term importance of maintaining meadows.

Welcoming to all visitors, of all ages, from all backgrounds, Earth Day celebrations at Grace Farms inspire the face-to-face communication that is often lost within the hustle and bustle of the modern world. By taking time to celebrate the natural wonders amongst Grace Farms’ 80-plus acres and yearning to experience the personal growth associated with learning about nature, patrons will undoubtedly participate in a memorable day. As the largest expanse of natural land in Fairfield County, Grace Farms serves as the perfect backdrop for Earth Day, and the daily celebration of nature.

Grace Farms Foundation’s President and Founder, Sharon Prince recently spent time sharing her thoughts about thoughtful space via the Grace Farms Blog. Prince related ways in which hopeful spaces can incite real change in the world, propelling education, insight, and conversation through thoughtful design, relationship with nature, and a symbiotic flow. In this case, she continued, Grace Farms’ “open architecture, embedded into an 80-acre expanse, and the pathways that extend out to a faraway Cattail Pond, cue discovery. Meanwhile, nature—the 10 different restored native habitats, meadows, roaming pollinators, 80+ sighted birds—can inspire a sense of awe. This intentional relationship between indoors and outdoors, complemented by our intention to cultivate a peaceful, welcoming environment for all, can stimulate new perspectives.” Grace Farms continues to serve as a shining beacon of a hopeful space and urges all patrons to participate in its wonders. Earth Day programming is the springboard for a season of exploration, education, and growth.

For more information visit the Grace Farms website.


Alec Sellem: The Social License of Responsible Gold Mining

April 12, 2019 - By 

Respect for local societies and human rights are of particular importance for responsible gold-mining companies. The draft Responsible Gold Mining Principles (RGMPs), promulgated by the UK-based World Gold Council, a market development organization for the gold industry that provides information about responsible gold mining practices in addition to industry data, research, are a new framework that sets out clear expectations for investors, downstream gold supply chain participants and other stakeholders as to what constitutes responsible gold mining. A broad range of stakeholders including governments, international organizations, investors, NGOs, academics, IGOs and supply chain participants have contributed to the guidelines. Once the consultation is completed and the draft is finalized, member companies will be expected to comply with the principles.

One leader in this field is Alec Sellem, CEO and founder of Sellem Industries LLC, based in London, England.  Sellem has spearheaded the strategic vision of the company and established strong partnerships with energy conservation and business-minded professionals.  Throughout his career, Sellem’s primary focus has been on security strategies and technology, which led him to several successful startups before founding Sellem Industries.

Along with contributing to the RGMPs, Sellem recently joined a panel of mining specialist industry leaders at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  The primary focus as energy laws in Africa, and the objective is to assess the overall effectiveness of the current energy law in Africa that is under construction and propose solutions to better the outcome. The safety and wellbeing of employees, contractors and local communities is a fundamental concern of responsible gold-mining companies. Responsibly undertaken, gold mining and its associated activities can have a transformative effect on socio-economic development in countries where gold is found.  Sellem intends to pen the social license to guide the change.

More specifically, gold mining has the potential to make a significant, positive impact on the economies of the countries in which gold mining takes place and on the lives of the citizens of those countries.   It has the most substantial impact on growth and wealth creation in developing countries. Gold mining is a major economic driver for many countries across the world. In addition to supporting the needs of a gold mine, these improvements to roads, water and electricity supplies are a long-term benefit to businesses and communities across the area, that outlives the production years of a gold mine. Many invest in social infrastructure, including schools, colleges and health care centers that improve the opportunities and wellbeing of local people. Companies often work with community-based organizations or non-government organizations to plan and implement these programs.

Responsible gold mining also means addressing concerns that resources could fund unlawful activity, particularly when operating in areas affected by armed conflict, such as civil war or militia activity. According to the World Gold Council, amongst the top 30 gold producing countries, over 60% are low or lower-middle income countries with substantial socio-economic development needs.  Mine worker salaries are consistently higher than the national average. In many countries with limited employment opportunities, these mining jobs often support many dependents.

Not surprisingly, given that reliance on foreign aid is an inherently vulnerable position for any impoverished country, it is notable that the economic value directly and indirectly created by the gold mining industry globally has exceeded the global total value of development assistance every year since 2010.  This is all good news to for Alec Sellem and his efforts toward advancing responsible gold mining.


Watford Club Heads to first FA Cup Finals since 1984, Owner Gino Pozzo Ecstatic

April 12, 2019 - By 
watford fc gino pozzo

The Watford FC Hornets literally jumped for joy in their bright yellow kits after winning a riveting match against the Wolverton Wolves at Wembley this past Saturday, April 7, beating the Wolves 3-2 in extra time, and heading off to compete in the world’s oldest football tournament, the FA Cup finals.

This historic, hard-fought victory will face the Hornets off against Manchester City, a Premier League top-pick, on Saturday, May 18 at Wembley in the elite Emirates FA Cup Finals, an extremely important tournament that is widely followed by avid football fans around the globe.

For the Hornets, this will be their first FA Cup finals match since 1984 during the club’s glory days under the leadership of Graham Taylor, back when Sir Elton John owned the club.  The Hornets lost that fateful match in 1984 against Everton, so a win at Wembley on May 18 would mean a historical resuscitation for this fast-rising club that lost a lot of steam during the 1990’s, and particularly after Taylor left the club in 2001.

Watford FC has not won an FA Cup since 1960, which means that if the Hornets manage to defeat League favorite Manchester City in this 2019 face-off, this match will go down in Hornets history, and there will be no end to the celebrations in Watford.

The unassuming Gerard Deulofeu, a slender Spaniard whose low-profile attitude and keen awareness of potential goal-scoring opportunities has become a trademark of his game, secured the Hornets’ victory in a cameo that saved the team after the Wolves scored two goals, leading the Hornets to a 3-2 victory in extra time.

In a post-game interview with Watford Head Coach Javi Gracia, Gracia voiced the supposition that Deulofeu may have perhaps been angry or frustrated after having been relegated to the bench during the first half of the important semi-finals match. Gracia replaced Deulofeu with Andre Gray in the starting lineup after Deulofeu delivered a less-than-impressive performance against Fulham during a midweek match.

Serendipitously, Gracia is doing so well at leading the Hornets to their long-awaited glory, that even his flawed decisions tend to work out in the club’s favor, and Deulofeu’s punishment may have actually contributed to the player’s flaming success in this highly significant match against the Wolves.

The understated Gracia chuckled slightly as he admitted that he likes to see his players get a little angry, and felt that Deulofeu’s anger may have fueled a winning attitude that led the Spanish player to deliver one of the best games of his career.

Gracia’s perception is certainly understandable, given that Deulofeu could easily have experienced a bit of ire and frustration while watching his replacement fumble two tremendous goal-scoring opportunities set up by team captain Troy Deeney in the first half of the game, allowing the Wolves to dominate that first half.  Motivated by the desire to prove his worth, Deulofeu flew into action immediately upon hitting the field, scoring his first goal just 13 minutes after entering the game in the second half, at a time when the Wolves had the game in the bag with a 2-0 lead.

Troy Deeney then scored the tie-breaking goal in extra time, via an opportunity arising from a penalty assigned to the Wolves’ Leander Dendocker, with Deulofeu setting up the final goal that clenched the game for the Hornets via a series of effective pass exchanges with Gray.

A beaming Javi Gracia commented after the game, “We are very happy.  I am very proud of all my players, all my supporters, because today we’ve lived together a special day.”

He also recounted how the squad prepared for this game: “Before coming, we knew it would be a tough game, very demanding. And when everything was lost, I think the team was able to show our character, our personality, our ambition, and believing until the end, we were able to win today,” he stated.

With specific reference to Deulofeu, Gracia remarked, “We knew before the game when we started with other players that Gerard would be important during the game.  I knew it,” he conceded.  “What I didn’t know was, when we started to play, that we were losing 2-0.  But, in other games, it was the same.  We started playing with Troy and Gerard, and Gray coming form the bench scored important goals for the team.”

He went on to justify his decisions regarding his starting lineup, explaining, “All the players deserve to play, and it’s not easy for me to choose the best moments for them, but I try to choose the best moments for everyone.”  He continued, “I had to do different substitutions because my players asked me, they needed it.  Gerard was one of them.”

In spite of admitting to having spurned Deulofeu to a point of single-minded determination, Gracia demonstrated his sensitivity and compassion as a coach when he noted that Deulofeu “has played almost all the games before, and he wanted to help the team, and he has done it.”

In fact, Gracia has been demonstrating his soft-spoken, morale-building approach to coaching, as well as his remarkable leadership skills during his first full season as Head Coach at Vicarage Road.

A former midfielder in the Spanish Primera Liga with a history of two consecutive 10-0 victories for Malaga during the 2013 Uefa Champions League quarterfinals, Gracia has led the Hornets through a highly successful and exciting season, marked by some dramatic plays and stellar performances against formidable opponents. These opponents include Liverpool, Manchester United, and Manchester City, a Premier League favorite that the Hornets must defeat on May 18 in order to take home the FA Cup.

The Watford club is deservedly enjoying its re-emergence in the Premier League, as the team has made a dramatic comeback over the past several years, which, by many accounts, has been a consequence of the fact that the club was purchased by Gino Pozzo in 2012.

Gino Pozzo, a member of the famed Italian football family that also owns the Udinese Calcio club in Italy, and once also owned the Granada Football Club in Spain, moved to Watford shortly after purchasing the Hornets, and sold the family’s shares in the Granada Club in 2016 in order to focus more fully on Watford. It was always Pozzo’s plan to bring this struggling club back to Premier League status, and this season’s results show that his handling of the club has indeed proven to be fortuitous.

The Pozzo family has consistently exhibited a sort of “Midas touch” with their football clubs, and the growing success of the Watford club since it landed in the hands of Gino Pozzo is a testament to that fact.  Profoundly passionate about football, the family’s magic formula also worked wonders for the Udinese Calcio, a club owned by Gino’s father, Giampaolo Pozzo, since 1986.

The family also demonstrated its wizardry at empowering underdog clubs and elevating them to top-tier levels of success when they resuscitated the Granada Club in Spain from a crippling €12m debt and underling Second Division status to the prestigious Primera Liga, the country’s foremost football league.

After buying the Granada club in 2009 while Gino was living in Barcelona with his Catalan wife, the Pozzo family managed to lead the club from the country’s lowly Second Division to Spain’s top-tier Primera Liga in only two years, marking the club’s re-emergence in the Liga after a 35-year absence.  By the end of their involvement with the Granada F.C. in 2016, the family sold its majority shares in the club for a sum of €37m to the owner of Link International Sports.

The Pozzos focus on developing and strengthening their football clubs by means of a model that includes recruiting lower-division players and conditioning them, as well as trading players among the clubs they own, providing international experience for their athletes.  Their goal is to discover and build on the specific strengths of each of their players, and trading them between their two clubs in order to best develop each player’s specific skills and style of playing, while also finding the perfect fit for each player.  For example, Watford will keep and develop a player that does better at Watford than at Udinese, allowing that player to maximize his career potential.  This approach not only builds great squads, but also great players, and great careers.

Gino Pozzo knew exactly what he wanted to do with the Hornets when he purchased the Watford club in 2012, at a time when the club was struggling with debt and floundering as a minion in the lower division.  Upon purchasing the club, Pozzo transferred his personal life to Watford, settled in at Vicarage Road, and has taken his time to build the club as he wants it, in order to achieve precisely what he set out to achieve: a winning squad that could compete in the Premier League, arguably football’s most prestigious platform.

After a grueling and intensive search for the perfect Head Coach saw the Hornets trained by several different Head Coaches over the past six years, Watford can finally rest easy with Pozzo’s appointment of Javi Gracia, who has guided the club through a spectacular first season, earning the trust and loyalty of his players.

In part that trust and loyalty among players in the Watford club is due to the fact that they understand that they are being groomed for greatness.  There is also an inimitable sense of pride in being a member of the squad that will go down in history as having revived the team from an insignificant underling status in the lower division to experiencing the power and joy of competing in the prestigious FA Cup finals.

Goalkeeper Ben Foster is one player who has openly discussed how much he’s enjoyed playing for Watford during one of the best seasons of his career under the Pozzo model and Javi Gracia’s guidance and leadership. Remembering his League Cup win with underdog Birmingham in 2011, Foster mentioned in an ESPN FC interview that winning the FA Cup with Watford would mean much more to him than his victories during his glory days with Manchester United.

“I won the League Cup with United, but it was almost a given that we were going to win the game,” he stated matter-of-factly.  “But I think if you win it with a team like Birmingham, West Brom, or Watford, it does mean so much more.”

Gracia has also won the trust and loyalty of his bosses, and enjoys daily support and encouragement from Pozzo, as well as Watford’s CEO and Chairman Scott Duxbury, and the team’s Technical Director, Filippo Giraldi. The three work together closely every day, aided by the fact that the team’s corporate offices are located onsite at the Vicarage Road training grounds, allowing the executive leadership to partake and influence every detail of the club’s day-to-day operations, strategies, and game development.

Additionally, in a recent ESPN interview, Duxbury told reporters that Sir Elton John, a passionate supporter of the Hornets and Honorary Lifetime President, provides daily advice and recommendations, particularly in the area of recruitment, trading, and team building.  Duxbury testified to the music legend’s “encyclopedic knowledge of lower-league players,” and his commitment to remaining involved with the Hornets as an advisor as well as a lifelong fan.

But there is still work to be done at Vicarage Road in preparation for completing the club’s most successful season.  There are still six games left to play in the Premier League, and the Hornets still have the opportunity of improving their position at the table at season’s end.

In fact, although the FA Cup Final is looming on the horizon, Javi Gracia mentioned in the post-semi-final interview, “I’m sure the players in this moment are focused on Arsenal next Monday.  We have time to rest now, and on Monday we will play against Arsenal, because they don’t want to stop at this moment. We want to achieve a better position in the Premier League, and show their character.  They want to keep going and to improve every day.”

The Hornets now sit in 10th place at the Premier League table and are set to host the Arsenal club at Vicarage Road on Monday April 15 in a match that stands to improve their ranking at the table, as Arsenal currently sits in 5th place.

When asked about which players he has in mind for the lineup as the Hornets prepare for that match against Arsenal, Gracia replied coyly, “I never reveal the lineup beforehand, because I never know the lineup for the other team.”

But pundits who have kept an eye on Javi have noted that he exhibits a pattern of consistency in setting up his starting squad, often starting the same players in many matches, making necessary and strategic substitutions as the game progresses.

The focus is on playing excellently at every game, improving each player’s skill level and knowledge, as well as creating a unified team strategy, and ultimately building a club that can make the grade at the prestigious Premier League table. Gracia achieves this by simply enjoying what he does, treating his players with compassion and respect, and focusing on consistently playing well rather than on winning specific trophies and accolades.

“I enjoy every moment,” declared Gracia. “I don’t need to achieve something special or to get the best results to enjoy my job or to enjoy these players.  I enjoy my players and these amazing supporters every day.”

But every game played between now and May 18 will be a skill-building and strategic exercise for the Hornets squad as they prepare to face one of the Premier League’s highest-ranking clubs, Manchester City, at the FA Cup finals.

Manchester City, a Premier League favorite that many pundits predict will stifle Watford to take home the FA Cup, recently beat the Hornets in a highly charged meeting during which head referee Paul Tierney overturned a fellow referee’s call, leading to the first goal of the game by Manchester City.

Watford supporters expressed that the controversial call may have provided Man City with an unfair advantage that consequently led to the Watford defeat.  Still, the Hornets played a mean game against Man City, effectively preventing any goal-scoring activity during the entire first 45 minutes of the game.

This means that a strong defense will once again be a key factor in thwarting the advances of this formidable foe, and that the Watford squad must focus seriously on preparing for this upcoming FA Cup finals match in order to deliver what may well become the best game of their lives.

Following the semifinal match, and in response to naysayers that doubt the power of the Hornets squad against Man City, as well as those that have picked Man City as the FA Cup finals favorite, Gracia’s comments were succinct. “I’m very proud of all my players because they’ve competed really, really well today,” he reiterated.  “The rest of the opinions, I respect all of them, but it’s not my job.  My job is to do my best for Watford, for their supporters, and to enjoy days like today.”

Related: Steve Lesnard: The Brand Marketing Guru Who Figured Out the Modern Sports Consumer


When You’re Bill Shelton of USHEALTH Advisors, The Phrase “I Can’t” Just Won’t Do

April 11, 2019 - By 

The influence others have in our lives can be incredible, and while some of us find our parents offer more in the way of love and leadership than any child could ask for, it is also our friends and colleagues helping to form us into the people we are today. Bill Shelton, senior vice president of marketing at USHEALTH Advisors, not only grew into the man he is now thanks to a few key people but tries to live his life as an example for others.


Shelton and his two brothers grew up in a tight-knit family, one in which his father worked hard to support the family. Raised to be thankful for all he had, Shelton learned the art of negotiation and combined this skill with his strong work ethic to reach levels of success not seen by many.


Focusing on the Journey


With his dad’s example of integrity and discipline, coupled with the need to support himself now that he was on his own, Shelton found himself working at the local radio station in Borger, Texas just after high school. Although it was initially a way for him to pay for college tuition, Shelton found a love for the industry and worked his way up to becoming part owner. His experience in the media world would pay off later down the line when he joined the health coverage industry.


After relocating to Oklahoma years later, he met his wife, Teresa, and with the responsibility of providing for not only her well-being but her son’s too, Shelton’s drive to succeed grew even more. When the radio station changed ownership, Shelton found himself out of a job and after another move, another enrollment in college and another job he dedicated himself to, he was able to meet one of the most impactful people of his entire life.


Working with Troy


After meeting USHEALTH Group CEO Troy McQuagge in 1999, the two began working to build the online presence of Troy’s business., Shelton was a quick study and eventually led the organization to great success in the internet space.


Founding marketing strategies now used by health coverage organizations across the nation, Shelton’s techniques yielded more than 300,000 new sales leads in a single year and 17,000 recruits to the industry. Joining up again with Troy in 2010, the two were instrumental in re-launching USHEALTH Advisors.


The organization offers health coverage products aimed at combining flexible prices and peace of mind for families and individuals. Business owners and freelancers alike can choose from dental, vision, life or disability coverage among other options. The mission of USHEALTH Advisors is one of HOPE—Helping Other People Everyday—and this mindset is evident in their customer care and track record of success. From customer service awards to the innovative approach they take toward running the organization, USHEALTH Advisors sets an example for others in the industry.


Reaching for the Stars


Shelton’s role as senior vice president of marketing at USHEALTH Advisors is an important one, as he is responsible for overseeing all marketing, communications training and sales compliance activities across the nation. Based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas, Shelton gets to work with leaders in the organization to provide valuable tools to be utilized on the front lines by USHEALTH Advisors agents. His commitment to hard work from such a young age has paid off handsomely, as USHEALTH Advisors has earned numerous awards in the industry.


In a way, Shelton is carrying on his father’s legacy and sets a leading example every day for his colleagues at USHEALTH Advisors. With his passion for helping others and ability to tackle any task placed in front of him, the phrase “I can’t” just is not in Shelton’s vocabulary.


Follow USHEALTH Advisors on Twitter, and Facebook.


Donata Meirelles, Brazilian Fashion Icon, Continues to Support AmfAR

March 29, 2019 - By 

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, 77.3 million people have contracted HIV, 35.4 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses, and more than 17 million children have lost one or both parents to AIDS. The epidemic has been devastating for the world, and according to the most recent comprehensive surveys in 2017, there are still an estimated 36.9 million people living with HIV. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of various organizations such as amfAR, the number of deaths associated with the pandemic is on the decline. According to the 2017 reports:

  • About 21.7 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy, up from 17.2 million in 2015 and only 8 million in 2010.
  • 8 million people became newly infected with HIV – a decline in annual new infections of 18 percent since 2010.
  • Annual deaths from AIDS-related causes have declined by almost 48 percent over the past 10 years, from 1.8 million in 2007 to 940,000 in 2017.

With continuous efforts of AIDS researchers, paired with the financial assistance of individuals and organizations around the world, the hope is that we will continue to see a decline in the number of people affected by HIV and AIDS. Recently, amfAR has made great strides in its efforts towards “Making AIDS History,” specifically with the assistance of philanthropists such as Donata Meirelles.

About AmfAR

AmfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, is a nonprofit based in New York City. Its mission is to “end the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research.” Since its opening in 1985, the organization has invested more than $517 million into its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide. It is recognized for “advancing efforts to prevent HIV infection in those who are vulnerable and [improving] treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS, with the ultimate goal of eradicating the virus.”

Meirelles Attends AmfAR’s São Paulo Inspiration Gala

Meirelles is an avid supporter of amfAR. She is most well-known as the former style director of Vogue Brazil. She was also previously the host of the Vogue TV program “Quero Ja” (“I Want”) and fashion director of the Daslu store. Her fashion career began when she started running the Daslu Boutique in 1990. Later, in 2005, Meirelles became the editor-in-chief of Vogue Brazil.donata meirelles attends a fundraising benefit for amfar

Over the last eight years, Meirelles has been an attendee of amfAR’s São Paulo Inspiration Gala, a star-studded black-tie event featuring a cocktail reception, dinner, awards presentation, live auction, and entertainment. The Inspiration Gala series was created as a joint effort between Josh Wood Productions and amfAR to celebrate men’s style, while simultaneously raising funds for amfAR’s AIDS research programs. Since its launch in 2011, the benefit series has raised over $11.5 million for AIDS research. In addition to the São Paulo Gala, amfAR hosts events in Antibes, New York City, Milan, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

On April 4, 2014, Meirelles was presented with the Humanitarian Award at amfAR’s fourth annual São Paulo Inspiration Gala. She was recognized for her commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as her dedication to other humanitarian causes. In 2016, when Meirelles took the stage, she spoke out against prejudice. She spoke openly about her support of the foundation and its dedication to assisting all those around the world affected by AIDS and HIV. Most recently, in 2018, Meirelles presented the amfAR Award of Courage to Brazilian television presenter Sabrina Sato.

Not only does Meirelles attend the annual event to support the cause, but she also continuously encourages her online followers to support the amfAR Foundation. She recently posted a headline by the New York Times (@nytimes) that read: “An HIV patient is said to have been cured for just the second time. The success may guide scientists to a new strategy for ending AIDS.”

Meirelles then added her own commentary: “I am very happy to read the news about the second AIDS cure case. Eight years ago, I was introduced to amfAR by a friend. I was very moved by the cause and the relentless pursuit of the cure of AIDS. Since then, my family and I have been actively involved in the cause in many ways. I’m really glad we’re on the right track.”* With her more than 463,000 followers, Meirelles is helping the foundation gain recognition and funding.

AmfAR: Countdown to a Cure

In 2014, amfAR launched its Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, which is aimed at developing a scientific basis for a cure by 2020. The initiative focuses on addressing key challenges associated with AIDS/HIV research, including: “pinpointing where so-called reservoirs of persistent virus are located, determining how they are formed and persist, quantifying how much virus is in them, and eradicating the reservoirs from the body.”

The foundation itself has identified a $100 million investment strategy in support of the initiative, including $20 million to create the amfAR Institute dedicated to HIV Cure Research. In addition, amfAR plans to award grants totaling $80 million in support of research teams around the globe.

The organization hosts additional worldwide initiatives including the GMT initiative – which is dedicated to providing HIV/AIDS assistance to men who have sex with men and transgender people, specifically in countries with low access to AIDS support – and TREAT Asia – an initiative aimed at creating communication networks in Asian countries aspiring to treat HIV.

In 2017, amfAR’s revenue was $52,276,906 – 65 percent of which was collected from fundraising events. Therefore, the events are a crucial source of funding that allows the organization’s research to continue. With assistance from philanthropists such as Meirelles, amfAR is on track towards its 2020 goal of “Making AIDS History.”

For more on Donata Meirelles charitable work, follow her on social media.


Blog Categories