Model Maggie Rizer Remembers Dad

08/22/1997 at 12:00 AM EDT

Fashionistas and glitteratti, including Taye Diggs and Tommy Hilfiger, came together to lend their support Wednesday night in Manhattan at a benefit for DIFFA -- The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, reports PEOPLE. With a casino theme, the evening raised $250,000 for the charity and was hosted by celebrity model Maggie Rizer, 23, who held center stage to her clique of gal pals. Rizer, looking radiant in a black satin Gucci dress, said of the event, "This is in memory of my father, who passed away from AIDS nine years ago." Vogue magazine editor Anna Wintour told PEOPLE, "We were so touched by (Rizer's) devotion to her dad and her decision to do this event in his name (that) we decided we would come here in support of her." Added Rizer: "I talk to a lot of my friends about AIDS. There are a lot of advances that have been made in medicine, but the fact remains that AIDS is still here and a lot of people are suffering. This is the first major event that I have done, but I plan to pursue it more in my father's memory and for myself."

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