By  on February 2, 2007

Take Woody Allen, Natasha Richardson, Whoopi Goldberg and Tracy Chapman and put them at Cipriani 42nd Street, and you’ve got a recipe for a rollicking gala —not to mention a $3 million payday for amfAR, the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

Since 1985, the nonprofit, founded by physician Mathilde Krim and actress Elizabeth Taylor, has invested nearly $250 million in AIDS-related programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide. On Wednesday night, the organization honored Goldberg; John Demsey, chairman of the MAC AIDS Fund and global president of the MAC Cosmetics and Estée Lauder brands, and Bill Roedy, vice chairman of MTV Networks, with its Award of Courage, given for leadership and playing a role in increasing AIDS awareness and accelerating research. Beyoncé Knowles was on hand to give Roedy his award; Richard Gere presented Goldberg with hers, and Demsey received his from singer and MAC AIDS Fund spokeswoman Eve Jeffers. Woody Allen heaped praise on Krim, and Chapman performed a two-song acoustic set.

But it was Sharon Stone — who received the inaugural Roy London Award, named for her late friend and acting coach, who died of AIDS in the early Nineties — who was most blunt about the real point of the evening. After a reporter asked her which designer made her (probably borrowed) gold sequined gown, she shot back, “I’m wearing clothes. Someone will look at the label tomorrow and then I’ll know. Who gives a s--t what I’m wearing? I’d go home in a tablecloth if someone would pay for the dress and the money would go to amfAR.”

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