5 questions with Dennis Kershner
Dennis Kershner is the chair of the No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party Committee for AIDS Services of Dallas. He is also vice chair of the ASD board. He moved to Dallas in 1972 and now works as a design consultant for interior designers creating custom area rugs and broad loom carpets. He lives in Kessler Park with his partner John and Emiko, his chocolate Minpin.
What is AIDS Services of Dallas?
ASD is a charitable organization that provides housing and support services to low income and/or formerly homeless men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. We have four buildings in North Oak Cliff, housing 170 men and women and 34 children.
Tell me about the No Tie Dinner and Dessert Party.
On March 14, generous, fun-loving people will host social gatherings from formal parties of 10 to backyard barbecues for more than a 100. We currently have 33 dinner parties around the city. Guests are asked to make a suggested donation of $40 or more to ASD. After dinner, all hosts and guests are invited to the Frontiers of Flight Museum for a dessert celebration with 17 of Dallas’ finest restaurants and caterers. We have fabulous items from the Dallas Design District in addition to many gift items, gift certificates to fine restaurants, hotels and stores in our silent and live Auctions. Tickets are available at the door at 8 p.m. for a suggested donation of $30. One hundred percent of the proceeds from our host parties and auction go directly to ASD for our residents.
What do you do in your role as event chair?
It is my job to find and organize as many committee members as I can. This year we are 26 strong. We work to secure sponsors to fund our event, and we have been fortunate in that, thank goodness. I am also responsible for securing our honorary chairs. This year we welcome Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk and Anthony Chisom.
How did you become involved with ASD?
In 1989, my partner developed HIV/AIDS. He was a CPA and still wanted to work and answered an ad from ASD. That’s when ASD only had two properties — Ewing and Revlon. He died in 1992. I work in honor of his memory. I love ASD and the dedicated staff of medical case managers, residential coordinators, case managers, personal care aides, maintenance and food service staff who are the true caregivers in our agency.
What do you hope to see in the future for ASD?
Aside from hoping for a cure, it would be my hope and dream of adding another residential residence for the 250 people currently on our waiting list.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 13, 2009.