After this week’s Charlie Sheen interview, it’s clear that our population still has grave misconceptions about HIV/AIDS and how it impacts individuals. However, long before Sheen’s interview, ActionAIDS was planning an innovative street campaign scheduled to deliver factual information about those living with HIV/AIDS. Read more »
Last Thursday night, diners across the region headed out to their favorite restaurants for the 25th anniversary of Dining Out for Life (DOFL). ActionAIDS‘s annual event raises funds for local HIV charities by asking participating restaurants to donate 33 percent of that night’s ticket sales to the cause. As of publish date, ActionAIDS hadn’t had a chance to tally all the money raised this year, but a rep from the organization tells me that by all accounts, restaurants across the city were packed, and the event should be on track to meet or beat its yearly average of $250,000 for the region.
This year’s host restaurant was Frankford Hall in Fishtown, and, as my friend Tammy Faymous would say, the place was packed with wall-to-wall legends. There, local community leaders gathered to dine and schmooze with superstar DOFL spokespeople Mondo Guerra (Project Runway) and chef Daisy Martinez (Daisy Cooks!). Among the locals who showed up were Mayor Michael Nutter, outgoing Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) President Drew Becher, mayoral hopeful Jim Kenney and leaders of many of the city’s HIV/AIDS service organizations, like Christopher Bartlett (William Way Community Center) Ronda Goldfein (AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania) Robb Reichert (AIDS Fund) and Jane Shull (Philadelphia FIGHT). ActionAIDS sent some photographs from the restaurant. Check them out below:
The Attic Youth Center
255 South 16th Street
The Attic creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community, and promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ youth in society. It “offers various support and educational groups that promote safer sex messages and practices. The Attic also offers free, confidential, HIV testing and access to safer sex supplies.”
AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania
1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 600
Founded in 1988, this nonprofit law firm provides free legal help to those with HIV/AIDS and those affected by the epidemic. AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania provides legal assistance with HIV/AIDS discrimination, health confidentiality, HIV testing protocols, housing, and more, with an emphasis on “breaking the physical and linguistic barriers that often impede access to legal services.”
1216 Arch Street, 6th Floor
ActionAIDS provides medical case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention, and volunteer services so that no one in the Philadelphia region has to face AIDS alone.
Bebashi-Transition of Hope
1217 Spring Garden Street
Bebashi-Transition of Hope works to provide healthcare information, direct services, education, research and technical assistance to reduce and eliminate HIV/AIDS and other health disparities within the urban community of Philadelphia and its vicinity.
G Philly and I were honored to be included in an event hosted by ActionAIDS yesterday, where community leaders gathered to read aloud 5,000 names of local people (and a few celebrities like Rock Hudson and Liberace), who lost their lives to AIDS. Among those speaking were ActionAIDS Executive Director Kevin Burns, ACLU of PA Executive Director Reggie Shuford, William Way Executive Director Christopher Bartlett. and WXPN host DJ Robert Drake.
A group of about 30 spectators showed up to listen to the touching tribute, despite the fact that it fell on a day winter just so happened to return to Philly. (It was so cold!) We toughed it out though, and I feel comfortable speaking for everyone else when I say we’re damn glad we did. Check out photos from the event below:
The event took place exactly a week from ActionAIDS annual fundraiser Dining Out for Life. If you haven’t made your reservations yet, now’s the time. Check out the full list of restaurants here, and be sure to stop by the Gayborhood, along Locust between 13th and Broad streets, from 11 am to 2:30 pm on April 30th for the DOFL Food Truck roundup.
ActionAIDS‘s 25th annual Dining Out for Life (DOFL) takes place in Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley on April 30th, with nearly 200 restaurants and food trucks in the region taking part. If you’re new to the game, this is how it works: On that evening participating restaurants will donate 33 percent of every check to a variety of regional HIV/AIDS service organizations, including ActionAIDS, AIDS Delaware, and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. DOFL is one of my favorite ways to donate, because it’s such an easy, fun, and delicious way to give to a worthy cause.
Like last year, DOFL will be closing off a block at a yet-to-be-announced location to host a lunchtime food festival of sorts with the participating food trucks. Stay tuned for more information on that.
You can find the complete list of local restaurants participating below, divided into neighborhood/region. Look for your favorite spot, and fire up OpenTable to make reservations. Tables fill up fast.
Sure, the wind chill felt like it was -20 outside, but inside the Hotel Palomar, the ActionAIDS crew kept Thursday night super hot: Their now-annual Glamsino Royale fundraiser heated up the top floors of the gorgeous hotel for a night of gambling, cocktails, and fun—all for a good cause. Read more »
But in all seriousness, the fundraising evening, which transforms the Hotel Palomar into a high-rolling very gay casino for one night, is one of the best events in the city. This party for a purpose benefits the great work that ActionAIDS does throughout the Philadelphia region: the organization is “committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies,” including “case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention and volunteer services.”
Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Kevin Burns tells us about ActionAIDS‘ first HIV primary care clinic, which opened earlier this month, and other ways the local nonprofit is making sure no one in Philadelphia has to face AIDS alone.
Who are you? I’m Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.
When was ActionAIDS founded? In 1986, at a time when governmental and philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS services was nearly non-existent. A group of 84 committed volunteers came together in Philadelphia and formed a community of care for their partners, family and friends with AIDS. ActionAIDS was the result, with a mission statement that read simply: “ActionAIDS believes that no one should face AIDS alone.”
What’s ActionAIDS’s shining moment, to date?: The opening of our West Annex Clinic earlier this month. After many months of planning, we’re excited to have launched our first HIV primary care clinic, in partnership with the Family Practice and Counseling Network. This clinical service will be coordinated closely with our medical case management services, also provided at the West Annex and focused on our clients at high-risk to be lost to care. Our medical case management services are highly effective in retaining clients in care, and the West Annex Clinic will increase our ability to do that. The initial effect of case management services is particularly dramatic: Average viral load drops 76 percent during the first six months.
One-sentence mission statement? ActionAIDS is committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies, including medical case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention, and volunteer services.
If you’ve lived in Philly for a while, you know that TOY, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund (DVLF)’s annual holiday fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and ActionAIDS, is not only one of the go-to events of the season but of the year. And the eighth annual gathering is happening this Saturday in Old City.
Over the past few years it was held after hours at the Reading Terminal Market, but this year organizers have decided to take the shindig east to Fire & Ice in Old City, where, DVLF’s Samantha Giusti tells me, the space will be transformed into a winter wonderland as guests mingle, nibble, sip and boogie to the sounds of DJ Carl Michaels.