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DIFFA Honored Isabel & Ruben Toledo & Rick Wolf at DINING BY DESIGN 2013

Co-Chaired by Geoffrey Zakarian & Tracy Reese

The Multi-City Tour Kicked Off in New York City on Thursday, March 21st in Conjunction With the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Raising Over $600,000 for DIFFA

NEW YORK, April 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS launched the 16th annual DINING BY DESIGN tour with 4-days of events running concurrently with the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 94, 12th Ave. at 55th Street in New York City on Thursday, March 21st through Sunday, March 24th. This year, DIFFA honored two of their greatest supporters in Isabel & Ruben Toledo, famed designers and artists as well as long time board member Rick Wolf. The Toledo's, who received the annual Rockwell Service Award and Rick Wolf, who was presented with the Unsung Hero Award, were honored at the Gala celebration, by DIFFA Chair Cindy Allen, DIFFA Executive Director Felecia Webb and co-hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Tracy Reese. The event, which brought together some of the most talented and celebrated individuals in the worlds of fashion, interior design, art, and architecture to create spectacular, over-the-top dining environments, raised over $600,000 for DIFFA.

The multi-city DINING BY DESIGN tour, which in past years has raised more than $14 million for DIFFA, features awe-inspiring dining installations by some of today's most prominent design luminaries such as David Rockwell, David Stark, Michael Amini, Margaret Russell, Aerin Lauder, Alfredo Paredes, Barry Dixon, Vern Yip, James Magni, Rachel Laxer, Michael Aram, Arpad Baska, Ali Tayar and Marc Blackwell as well as students and emerging designers. Following New York, the tour will head to Kansas City, Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco.

This year's launch event in New York featured a Gala dinner on Thursday evening as well as COCKTAILS BY DESIGN on Saturday evening which included presentations from restaurants including Pera Soho/Midtown, Beyond Sushi, Raymi, Make My Cake, North Square, and Bice.

"We were thrilled to be able to honor Isabel & Ruben Toledo as well as Rick Wolf at this year's DINING BY DESIGN," said Felecia Webb, Executive Director of DIFFA. "Their generous spirit and long term commitment to DIFFA has been an amazing resource for our organization. To be able to acknowledge and recognize them in such a public forum was a great experience."

Supporters of DIFFA since its founding, Isabel & Ruben Toledo have spearheaded countless initiatives for the organization including involvement in the creation of the original DIFFA Love Balls in the Eighties, designing the graphics for the inaugural DINING BY DESIGN, mentoring the NYU Student Design Team in 2012, co-hosting DIFFA's 25th Anniversary and many more. DIFFA is thrilled to have an opportunity to honor them for the continuous selfless work they have done to help the Foundation and its cause.

"We gave out two special honors this year, the dynamic design duo Isabel and Ruben Toledo were honored with the David Rockwell Service Award for their outstanding support of DIFFA for over 25 years," said DIFFA Chair and Editor-In-Chief of Interior Design Cindy Allen. "They have helped DIFFA since it's forming in 1984 and used their creative manpower to help raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. Rick Wolf of Wolf-Gordon was awarded the Unsung Hero award for his longstanding support of DIFFA, having spearheaded $1.5 Million in contributions since 1992. Wolf-Gordon's Gift of Hope program provides a percentage of every order placed at Wolf-Gordon and Rick sends a check to DIFFA every month."

Guests at the gala dinner honoring the Toledos and Rick Wolf on Thursday, March 21st dined within the design installations, making the event a truly unique experience for all who attended.

Sponsors included: La Crema, Patrón Tequila, Benjamin Moore, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. (MMPI), and New York Design Center.

Media Sponsors included: Architectural Digest, Interior Design, The New York Times, Manhattan Magazine.

For more information, please visit www.diffa.org or call 212-727-3100.

About DIFFA

DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States. Since being founded in 1984, DIFFA has mobilized the immense resources of the design communities to provide over $40 million to hundreds of AIDS service organizations nationwide. For more than 29 years, DIFFA has been one of the country's largest supporters of both direct care for people living with AIDS and preventative education for those at risk.

For more information visit www.diffa.org.

About Architectural Digest Home Design Show

The 12th annual Architectural Digest Home Design Show, held from March 21-24 at Pier 94 in New York City, is a showcase of the best in the home design and luxury market. The four-day fair features over 500 premium brands and covers a range of categories including: home furnishings, accessories, art, kitchen and bath products, flooring, fabric, lighting, outdoor products, and more. From product launches to a program that includes seminars with design-world luminaries, culinary demonstrations with notable chefs, book signings, special events, and more, the show is a must-attend for the industry's top professionals and discerning consumers. It is produced by Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. (MMPI), hosted by Architectural Digest, and co-sponsored by The New York Times. www.ADHomeDesignShow.com.

CONTACT: Nick Carcaterra Susan Blond, Inc. 212.333.7728 ext.126 nickc@susanblondinc.comSource: DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS