AIDS Walk South Dallas raises more than $20K

12More than 200 people walked the 5K-route in South Dallas to raise money for AIDS Interfaith Network on Saturday. Auntjuan Wiley, the founder of AIDS Walk South Dallas, said that as of Friday, the group had raised more than $20,000. Money raised Saturday hadn’t been counted.

Dallas police officers blocked the intersections, keeping the walkers moving along the route, and people stepped out on their porches to watch the procession. At one point on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the walkers met up with a parade celebrating James Madison High School’s back-to-back state championships. The groups cheered each other, giving the bystanders a two-for-one show.

Walgreens, which has sponsored the walk for each of its four years, had several people in the walk along with representatives from other businesses and organizations.

“I’m really pleased to see how far this walk has come in four years,” said Walgreens Community Leader James Ross. “We’ve been with the walk since day one, and we’re very supportive of what is being done here.”

You can see pics of the walk here.

—  Steve Ramos

Resource Center, other agencies announce limited holiday hours

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The Resource Center food pantry received a large donation from the Dallas Museum of Art

Resource Center’s food pantry will be open Dec. 18-Dec. 20  from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and will be close Dec. 23–Jan. 1.

“All clients are currently shopping for two weeks because of the holiday,” Resource Center spokesman Rafael McDonnell said. “If people wish to donate to the pantry, our biggest area of need is canned protein with pop-top lids — tuna, chicken, chili, Spam, etc.”

The Resource Center itself will be closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1. The last lunch served by the hot meals program will be on Dec. 23.

Legacy Counseling

Legacy Counseling Center will be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well as New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. However, Executive Director Melissa Grove said in case of emergencies, call the hotline number, 214-207-3953. Through the holiday period, the Walk-in Clinic will operate, but Grove asked anyone using it to call ahead.

AIDS Arms

Trinity Clinic will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and will be closed Christmas Day. The clinic will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 30 and will be closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

AIDS Interfaith Network

AIDS Interfaith Network will be closed Dec. 25–27 and Jan. 1.

The Daire Center will close on Dec. 24 and because of the agency move will not re-open until the end of January. The exact re-opening date will be announced later.

—  David Taffet

Lots of LGBT orgs participating in North Texas Giving Day on Thursday

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North Texas Giving Day is Thursday and a lot of LGBT organizations are participating.

Donations can be made online from 7 a.m. to midnight by going here and searching for an organization.

Among the LGBT organizations participating are AIDS Arms, AIDS Outreach, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Legacy Gay & Lesbian Fund for Dallas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and North Texas Food Bank, which supplies much of the food for Resource Center’s food pantry.

Communities Foundation of Texas organized the event. Each $25 donation and above received Thursday will get bonus funds. If an organization receives 32 individual donations, it will be entered to win an additional $10,000.

Funds can also be designated to a specific program in the notes section.

For a complete list of organizations, go here.

—  Dallasvoice

Razzle Dazzle Dallas, MetroBall distribute $59K to beneficiaries

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Razzle Dazzle Dallas presents a check for $43,000 to the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Razzle Dazzle Dallas distributed $59,000 from its events to its beneficiaries last night at Sue Ellen’s. The total was several thousand dollars more than last year.

Thelma Houston headlined the Metro Ball at S4 on June 7 benefiting the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. That organization provides financial assistance for critical needs such as rent and utility payments when all other resources are exhausted.

GDMAF received $43,000. That’s a $10,000 increase over last year. Razzle Dazzle chair John Cooper-Lara attributed that to a very successful silent auction and Houston’s enthusiastic participation in the live auction.

The Main Event, held on June 8 at Main Street Garden, benefited AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, Cedar Springs Beautification Project, Legacy Counseling Center, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center Dallas, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Turtle Creek Chorale. Those groups will share $16,000.

This was the first year the Main Event was held off Cedar Springs Road. The amount distributed to the community organizations was down from last year’s $25,000. Organizers plan to return Downtown next year and hope the event will build into a larger Pride party.

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Board members from Razzle Dazzle Dallas with a check for eight LGBT organizations.

—  David Taffet

AIDS Walk South Dallas distributes funds

AWSD checks

Walk director Auntjuan Wiley, left,  presents check to AIDS Interfaith Network Director Steven Pace.

AIDS Walk South Dallas distributed $4,000 to its beneficiaries last week.

Kidscapes Foundation and AIDS Interfaith Network each received a check for $2,000. In addition to distributing funds and paying all expenses, walk director Auntjuan Wiley said his organization raised enough to retain seed money for next year’s event.

More than 200 people registered for the walk that took place on March 16 and 512 people attended the event at St. Philip’s School on Pennsylvania Avenue.

HIV and syphilis testing was done before and after the event. Of the 27 people tested, one person tested positive for HIV and got into treatment and another person got back into treatment.

Wiley said plans are already underway for next year. St. Philip’s School will host the event again. The area is one of the hardest hit in Dallas for new HIV infections.

The 2014 walk will take place on March 22.

—  David Taffet

AIDS Interfaith, DFW Sisters to join Barack for National Day of Service

DFW Sisters will participate in the National Day of Service.

We got a very formal email from our friend Travis Gasper at AIDS Interfaith Network inviting us to participate in President Barack Obama’s National Day or Service — and a very casual, friendly one from Obama, signed “Barack.”

“Dozens of Dallas residents are answering President Barack Obama’s call to action and participating in the National Day of Service on Saturday, January 19 as the kick-off to the 57th Presidential Inauguration,” Gasper wrote. “Volunteers will spend the day at AIDS Interfaith Network (AIN), serving meals to HIV-positive homeless and low-income people. They join hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country in volunteer service.”

Then we received this from “Barack”:

“This Saturday, Michelle and I are heading out to events as part of the National Day of Service — and I hope you’ll join us.”

—  David Taffet

AIN asks for assistance with budget shortfall with Close the Gap campaign

AIDS Interfaith Network is asking the community for assistance in closing a budget shortfall. The demand for meals, bus passes and respite care is exceeding funding, the agency says.

AIN reports that in 2012 it’s on track to serve 26,000 meals to low-income people living with HIV/AIDS. By the end of the year, AIN will provide 17,000 bus and rail passes for clients to get to medical appointments and access other life-saving services.

Executive Director Steven Pace is asking the community to make a donation and help close the gap:

Each year, about a quarter of our budget comes from unrestricted sources like foundations, community groups/events, and individuals. And year after year, you step up. You donate faithfully, entrusting AIN to use your generosity where it best fits the current need. Right now, the need is exceeding the funding, so we’re counting on you once more.

We know that many in our community are struggling to close the gap in their own households or businesses. We understand. But we also know that our supporters are dedicated and passionate about AIN’s clients. We can all do something — no matter how large or small — to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

I’ll report back later in the week with our progress. Thank you in advance for helping us close the gap.

With gratitude,
Steven Pace, MSSW
Executive Director

P.S. You can help close the gap the old-fashioned way, too. Please mail checks to:

AIN
501 N. Stemmons Fwy. #200
Dallas, TX 75207

—  David Taffet

LGBT running group suspects anti-gay bias after Pride Run sign goes missing

A sign advertising LGBT running group DFW Front Runners’ first-ever Pride Run went missing over Labor Day weekend, and group’s president suspects anti-gay motives.

Front Runners President Lin Wang told Instant Tea that two 18-by-24-inch metal signs, which feature larger versions of the image at right, were placed along the Katy Trail on Saturday, one near the Katy Ice House and the other near the Hall Street entrance.

He said while he was running early Monday morning, he noticed the sign near Hall Street was missing. He said the other sign was probably still in place because of the number of people at the Katy Ice House.

Wang is also the race director for the Pride Run, which is on the morning of Dallas Pride, Sept. 16. He contacted the Katy Trail administrator and the trail manager, who told him the sign would only have been taken down if it was too early to advertise an event or if the run had already passed.

Wang said he thinks whoever took down the sign had anti-gay motives, due to the rainbow colors and the fact that the run benefits AIDS Interfaith Network.

“Either someone really liked the sign, which I doubt, or someone really hated the sign,” Wang said.

He said he replaced the $20 sign and had a large banner printed so he could tie it onto the fence.

More information on the event can be found here. The cost for registration is $25. The Front Runner Dallas walking and running group meets Saturdays at 8:30 at the statue of Robert E. Lee in Lee Park. Volunteers for the event can sign up on the website.

—  Dallasvoice

Razzle Dazzle Dallas distributes proceeds

Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund board, from left, D’wayne Teague, Tony Rox, David Hearn, Greg Wallace and John Cooper Lara

John Cooper Lara, chair of the Razzle Dazzle Dallas board, presented checks to beneficiaries of the June events at Sue Ellen’s on Monday evening.

The Metro Ball, which took place at S4 on June 8 and featured Taylor Dayne, raised $31,500 for the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. GDMAF provides financial assistance for critical needs through local organizations when other sources are exhausted.

Funds from the Saturday night street party were split among nine beneficiaries. Those organizations were Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, Turtle Creek Chorale, Cedar Springs Beautification Fund, Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, GLBT Leap, Uptown Players and Legal Hospice of Texas. That party raised $25,000.

Razzle Dazzle Dallas board, from left, Jimmy Bartlett, Johnny Humphrey, Chris Bengston, Thom Dance, John Cooper Lara, Kris Martin, Ron Adams and Howard Okon

—  David Taffet

Pekers donates 6,000 bottles of water to AIN

Frank Holland

Frank Holland and Ron Nelson, owners of Pekers Bar in Oak Lawn, delivered 6,000 bottles of water to AIDS Interfaith Network to help homeless clients of the agency beat the heat, according to a release from AIN. The 200 cases of water will be distributed to AIN clients throughout the summer.

“Our clients don’t worry about electricity bills or air conditioning,” said Travis Gasper, AIN director of development. “They worry about having enough to eat and drink to survive. They will have one less thing to worry about this summer, thanks to the generous folks at Pekers.”

Each year AIN serves 2,000 individuals in North Texas battling HIV/AIDS. Half of them are without stable, permanent housing, leaving them in danger when the mercury rises. Proper hydration is essential to staying on HIV medications, which help prevent the further spread of the disease.

“We remain forever grateful to Pekers for their support,” said AIN Associate Director Edgar Carmona. “Their generosity means those most vulnerable to the heat will be able to stay hydrated and healthy this summer.”

Holland said the donation came from patrons and staff. And why did they help?

“Just because,” Holland said. “It was something that needed to be done.”

Pekers Bar just celebrated its fifth anniversary, and has supported HIV prevention efforts in the community since it opened. In addition to its water donations, Pekers has given more than $100,000 in cash to AIN.

—  David Taffet