The Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, which benefits organizations fighting HIV/AIDS as well as homelessness and hunger in San Francisco, hosted its 25th anniversary concert and gala, Help Is On the Way, at the magnificent Herbst Theater on August 18.
The glitzy, well-attended affair was co-chaired by Sophie Azouaou and Eileen Blum, raising $80,000 for REAF’s efforts. REAF honored Governor Gavin Newsom, longtime supporter of the foundation, with the Community Hero Award, accepted on his behalf by sister Hilary Newsom Callan. In turn, the governor’s office presented REAF with its own certificate in honor of the organization’s work in San Francisco communities for the last quarter-century. Two for two!
The concert portion of the evening was an eclectic mix of classics and contemporary hits: Blum, who is a concert violinist, performed a (heart) string-tugging solo from Les Misérables; cast members from the SF tour of Hamilton wowed with a rap rendition of “Pick a Little, Talk a Little” from The Music Man and a triumphant take on “Let the Sunshine In” from Hair; while Tony Award–nominee Sam Harris belted out “Use What You Got” from The Life.
A rousing highlight was the silent auction, with chances to win a photo safari in Africa, a luxe Puerto Vallarta vacay and the “Hamilton Experience” package, which included paid entry to the show, a backstage meet-and-greet session with the actors and tickets to two other Broadway shows in New York City. The evening wrapped with a lively nightclub-themed afterparty, where music and cocktails were in heavy rotation.