Monday night isn’t ideal for going out, but how could I refuse an invitation to the MTV Staying Alive Foundation Charity dinner, at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair.
I came across the foundation after a potential partnership meeting with the inspirational and dynamic Georgia Arnold. Georgia has been with MTV since its humble beginnings and had literally carved the foundation, and her role as it champion, from scratch. This was of course, back when MTV was small, entrepreneurial and corporate social responsibility was rare.
Every year the foundation recruits a celebrity ambassador to drive the fundraising. Last year it was Kelly Rowland and this year it is the artist Travis McCoy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the American alternative hiphop scene.. this Travis is the lead singer of Gym Class Heroes and Katy Perry’s ex-boyfriend.
As one would expect, it was a glitzy affair with a whole host of stars in supportive attendance. I was seated next to rapper Sway on the celebrity safari; from our vantage point we watched Hello magazine come to life as an array of familiar faces wandered around their natural habitat… Atomic Kitten, Jamelia, Sinitta, Goldie, Mica Paris, Jazzy B…. ok ok I’ll stop name-dropping now but I will say that it is true, most are surprisingly small in real life.
Award winning Staying Alive is now the world’s largest HIV and AIDS prevention, youth-focussed charity. It works by giving grants to young people in small communities, to help them in their own grassroots educational campaigns. The idea being, that the young generation need to be informed and empowered to prevent the spread of the infection. The grantees know best how to talk to their own people.
In a nutshell, using marketing and communications to educate, save lives and as Georgia herself said, everyone gets to talk about sex all day. What’s not to like?