The 15thAnnual ART FOR LIFE gala hosted by Russell and Danny Simmons and sponsored by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin, which took place last night at Fairview Farms in Watermill, NY. As the official kick off to BOMBAY SAPPHIRE’s 5th Annual Artisan Series program, Naughty by Nature helped celebrate this year’s benefit with a crowd of 750 supporters. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Foundation’s signature arts education and gallery programs, directly serving over 3,000 inner-city youth each year.
Guests of the ultra-exclusive, star-studded event enjoyed a mid-summer soiree to support the commendable efforts of Russell and Danny’s RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Always a scene to be seen, cameras flashed on the red carpet as A-list celebrities, music artists, models and high profile personalities including: Star Jones, Doug E. Fresh, Rick Ross, Reverend Al Sharpton, Michael Bloomberg, Gayle King, Fab Five Freddy, Tobias Sorensen, Niykee Heaton, Soledad O’Brien, Angela Simmons, JoJo Simmons, Bevy Smith, Keeping up with the Kardashians’s Jonathan Cheban, Kurtis Blow, DJ Kiss, Miss Universe Gabriela Isler, Miss USA Nia Sanchez, model Vita Sidorkina and Mob Wives’s Renee Graziano posed for photo opps before heading into the tent for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Guests sipped artfully crafted BOMBAY SAPPHIRE cocktails including summer favorites like the Sapphire Peppered Peach-Tea Collins, Art Traction and classic French 75 throughout the evening.
As the cocktail hour transitioned to a luxe private dinner, Soledad O’Brien dazzled the crowdas the evening’s emcee where the event’s Honorary Chairs, Star Jones and Michael R. Bloomberg, Valentino D. Carlotti, Kimora Lee Simmons and Featured Artist Carrie Mae Weems were recognized for their career achievements and philanthropic work.
During the program, Russell Simmons announced that Kimora Lee Simmons has started a generous scholarship of $1 million dollars for RUSH teens. Her children - Ming Lee Simmons, Aoki Lee Simmons, and Kenzo Lee Hounsou – accepted the honor on their mother’s behalf and welcomed the inaugural class of scholarship recipients.
After delivering poignant speeches speaking to their passion of art and the Foundation’s mission of engaging inner city youth through creativity, guests mingled and danced to the performances of Doug E. Fresh and Kurtis Blow to cap off the evening.
*photos by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images