It was rainy Tuesday night in NYC’s Meatpacking area, but that didn’t stop the cause at all. Kiehl’s 5th Anniversary of LifeRide – the 12-day motorcycle journey in effort to raise funds in the continuation of finding a cure for HIV/AIDS was nothing short of a success.

 

The ride kicked off on August 2 in Milwaukee, then Chicago, Detroit and few other cities just before getting to New York for the finale party where a check for $170,000 was presented to amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. With Grammy Awarding winning songstress Mary J. Blige, a longtime supporter of amfAR as the gorgeous host of the night, celebrity DJ Samantha Ronson holding down the music, a ton of celebrity LifeRiders pulling up on Harley-Davidson bikes, it was all kinds of fun with personal spray tattoo’s, servers on roller-skates, dessert pies, milkshakes, special food truck services by Mr. Nice Guy and Gorilla Cheese NYC – all of that most definitely calls for a dope party scene.

American cosmetics brand Kiehl’s USA, starting right in New York City’s East Village 163 years ago, survived just about every economic collapse including the Great Depression, and for the past 5 years now has partnered up with amfAR and the coolest motorcycle gang, the LifeRiders in support of HIV/AIDS research with over 15,000 miles traveled for the inspiring cause. After meeting amfAR CEO Kevin Frost about seven years ago, Kiehl’s USA President Chris Salgardo and his team drummed up the idea to literally take the movement on the road. “We are so excited and enthusiastic because of the incredible work being done at amfAR, the advances being made in research. We are putting all of our resources in finding a cure because we believe a cure is possible and we believe we can do it in our lifetime. And so, in order to get there, we need the help of supporters and partners. And our partnership with Kiehls has been one of the most incredible partnerships than any that we have had,” the amfAR CEO disclosed. And, with more than $1 million raised over the past 5 years, who wouldn’t want to get involved. Celebrity guests and LifeRiders Vanessa Marcil, Gilles Marini and America’s Next Top Model Panelist Miss J Alexander had some words to share with us on what prompted them to get involved.

Gilles Marini (Actor)

Well, I’ve been involved for about 3 years now. Being a longtime motorcyclis, I was asked to join in on the cause, and obviously I did. Little did I know how hardcore it would be. It’s dangerous, tiring, but we are supporting the cause of HIV/AIDS research from a different perspective. The awareness is completely different and I’m extremely proud to be a part of it. I feel like I’m finally doing something better with my life, it’s a massive pleasure. And, I’ll be on the road early tomorrow morning at 6am again.

Vanessa Marini (Actress)

I honestly have no idea how I got involved, but I believe in stuff that is meant to be and serendipity and all that. You know, I’m not even close to being a part of the cool crowd, and these people are so the cool crowd. And Chris, Kiehl’s President is like the real cool crowd, his intentions are so beautiful and pure, he’s so driven to make a difference. He really inspired me, and I just feel like it was maybe some type of meant-to-be thing. I feel really grateful to be a part of this.

Miss J Alexander (America’s Next Top Model)

Of course, being in a position where I’ve known many who have suffered and died from HIV/AIDS, I’m always trying to support as much as I can. The more you bring in the light, the more people are aware, the more you can help.

The event was presented by Levi’s, FIJI Water, DreamWorks and Harley Davidson.

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-Sade Graham
Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images.