Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS distributing assets this Saturday

Lone Star Ride 2010Need a tent? Water? Want a Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS keepsake like a T-shirt or jersey? All of those items, and more, will be distributed free.

Lone Star Ride Board President Jacque Borel sent this message to all former Lone Star Ride participants — riders and crew.

The Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS has reached the end of the road, but there are a number of items stored in the LSRFA storage facility which may be of value to previous riders and crew.

The storage unit, at 4641 Production St., Unit No. 25, will be unlocked from 10 a.m. until noon this Saturday, Feb. 8, so that former participants can pick up whatever supplies and equipment they wish.

The storage unit must be emptied by the end of February, so all materials which remain after this Saturday will be either donated or otherwise disposed of. If there are questions, please contact Jacque Borel, board chair.

Production Street is off Lucas Avenue between Maple Avenue and Harry Hines Boulevard in Oak Lawn.

The beneficiaries have already been to the storage locker and gotten whatever they can use. Items include camping equipment, bottled water, rakes, brooms, bike racks, ice chests, jerseys, shirts and a variety of other memorabilia.

Borel assures us that the tents do not come equipped with the rocks that always seemed to be strategically placed under each and every tent during the ride.

A number of items of historical importance will be donated to the LGBT archives at University of North Texas.

—  David Taffet

Resource Center’s Cece Cox attends White House ‘fiscal cliff’ meeting

RCD CEO Cece Cox, right, at the White House with Texas ACLU Executive Director Terri Burke.

Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox is in Washington, D.C. today at a meeting called “Working together to avoid the fiscal cliff” with about 70 other community leaders from Texas.

The main issue of concern is money for HIV/AIDS programs. Should automatic cuts go into effect, Ryan White money and programs would be affected. An automatic 9 percent funding cut would also affect HOPWA and ADAP programs. HOPWA is housing money that could impact AIDS Services of Dallas and other programs that subsidize rent. ADAP pays for HIV medication for those who cannot afford it.

“When it comes down to people’s lives, there should be no compromise,” said RCD Communications and Advocacy Manager Rafael McDonnell. “These monies are priorities for people living with HIV, and we should be mindful of how important these programs are to members of our community.”

More than 14,000 people in Texas receive their medication through the ADAP program. About 1,300 people could be removed from the program with an automatic funding cut.

The meeting was called by the White House Office of Public Engagement. The White House has been meeting with corporate and civic leaders all week to put pressure on Congress to reach a compromise on taxes and spending.

—  David Taffet

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS holds makeup ride, distributes $90K

Participants ride out from the parking lot behind Caven Enterprises on Sunday.

Lone Star Ride held a shortened makeup ride Sunday and then distributed $90,000 to its three beneficiaries at a party at TMC.

The original ride, scheduled for Sept. 29–30, was canceled because of two days of heavy rain.

The makeup ride included a 30-mile morning route that began and ended at TMC on Cedar Springs Road and circled White Rock Lake. Additional riders participated in an afternoon ride that left at noon and made a round trip to ride sponsor Microsoft’s headquarters in Las Colinas.

Riders returned to Oak Lawn by 2:30 p.m. Sunday after completing the 25-mile round trip. They met in the parking lot of Cathedral of Hope and at 3 p.m. rode down Cedar Springs Road together. A crowd outside of JR.’s Bar & Grill and TMC cheered the riders in.

At TMC, awards were given for biggest fundraising teams and individuals. Dallas Voice placed second and Slow Spokes won the team competition. Anything Goes, Hope Riders and Wells Fargo placed third through fifth.

Ralph Randall was the largest individual fundraiser. Les Borzy, a first-time Lone Star Rider, was second.

Checks totaling $90,000 were distributed to beneficiaries AIDS Services Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center and Resource Center Dallas.

More photos from the makeup ride after the jump.

—  David Taffet

Local AIDS agencies send staff members to International AIDS conference

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, center, with, from left, AIDS Arms’ Nadia Molina, Mychael Patterson, Whitney Hynes and Kali Eszlinger

J.P. Cano

Several HIV/AIDS agencies from North Texas sent delegations to the International AIDS Conference that is being held in Washington, D.C. this week.

This marks the first time the conference is being held in the U.S. A ban on travel to this country by people with HIV that began in 1987 under the Reagan administration was lifted in 2010 by the Obama administration.

AIDS Arms has a delegation of 15 HIV prevention, medical care and health navigation professionals and a volunteer at the conference. The conference has more than a week of activities, marches, trainings, research presentations and networking opportunities, with thousands of professionals and HIV-positive individuals from around the world who work in the HIV field.

AIDS Arms’ delegation includes Drs. Gene Voskuhl and John Martin, Physician Assistant Alem Bayyan, HIV/STD Prevention Director Darriane Martin and her team, Joi Anene, Alexander Ortega and Ashley Innes, and its prison re-entry Director Daron Kirven and his team, Lisa Waitmon-Moses, Mychael Patterson, Nadia Molina, Allison Boyd and Edward Jones. Whitney Hynes, AAI’s Substance Abuse Health Navigator, and volunteer, Kali Eszlinger, complete the team.

Don Maison from AIDS Services Dallas is attending the conference as is J.P. Cano from Resource Center Dallas.

Cano, coordinator at RCD’s Nelson-Tebedo Community Clinic, is one of 20 people from across the U.S. selected as a member of the AIDS 2012 Embajadores (Ambassadors) program, part of the “Mobilizing Latino/Hispanic Communities” initiative at the 19th International AIDS conference. The program identifies, mobilizes and supports the next generation of Latino/Hispanic leaders in the HIV/AIDS field.

The Afiya Center in South Dallas was selected to participate in the Global Village, which will be open to all conference participants. Women served by the organization will showcase their Living Positively Positive project, which focuses on improving health outcomes for women living with HIV/AIDS and those at greatest risk of becoming infected.

Executive Director Marsha Jones said, “The Afiya Center is extremely proud and honored that our activity was chosen to be part of theAIDS 2012 program.”

—  David Taffet

AIDS Services Dallas to celebrate 25 years

Don Maison

AIDS Services of Dallas will celebrate its 25th anniversary Friday with a tribute to its two founders, Michael R. Merdian and Daryl M. Moore.

Both Merdian and Moore died of complications from AIDS — Moore in August 1988 at the age of 27, and Merdian in March 1993 at 36.

ASD’s provides quality, affordable, medically supportive housing for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS. The agency is the largest of its kind in Texas and has four residential facilities in Dallas County.

“Providing people with a decent place to live gives them dignity and pride,” said Don Maison, who’s served as president and CEO of ASD since 1989. “Their lives have been enriched and their health improved. I’m proud that we’re a top-notch program recognized throughout the country as among the very best.”

On April 28, 1987, ASD was incorporated as the PWA Coalition of Dallas. Since then the organization has provided more than 1 million nights of housing to more than 1,800 people.

Awards will be presented to honor individuals and businesses whose involvement and commitment to Dallas’ HIV/AIDS Community have made a tremendous impact. These honorees are Baron and Blue Foundation, Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, DoorKing of Texas, Judith Powell and Terril Slusser and Bradley Patenaude. An ASD resident who has demonstrated excellence in the spirit of the mission of AIDS Services of Dallas will receive the Michael R. Merdian Memorial Award.

The Founders Day celebration will be held at Revlon House in Oak Cliff at 11:30 a.m. on Friday. It is free and open to the public. The Revlon House is at 720 N. Lancaster Ave. in Oak Cliff.

 

—  David Taffet

ASD property torn up by neighbor’s contractor

Everything to the right of the orange survey flag in this photo is on property belonging to AIDS Services of Dallas, including where the backhoe is parked.

A contractor working on a convenience store adjacent to property owned by AIDS Services of Dallas has done considerable damage to the agency’s lots acquired for future expansion of housing for people with HIV and AIDS.

After leaving a business card and sending two certified cease-and-desist letters, ASD President and CEO Don Maison said he was going to have to hire an attorney this week to have a restraining order placed on the business. However the owner of  City View Food Store finally responded to Maison on Tuesday.

“We own three lots behind the store,” Maison said. “They encroached on one and trespassed on our land on the other two.”

—  David Taffet

Elizabeth Taylor still giving to people with HIV/AIDS

Elizabeth Taylor, second from left, and AIDS Services of Dallas Executive Director Don Maison, far right, at Dillards at NorthPark Center in Dallas in 1996.

The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation will get a big infusion of cash this week as a result of an auction of jewelry.

Elizabeth Taylor, who died March 23, 2011, had a collection of jewelry that was estimated to be worth $20 million. The auction has already brought in $116 million.

The auction is going on at Christie’s in New York.

Among the jewels sold was a pearl purchased by Richard Burton for $37,000, which sold for $11.6 million. The pearl had once been owned by Mary Tudor and was painted in the 17th century by Diego Valezquez.

Taylor co-founded AmFAR in 1985 and began The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991, with a focus on direct service to people living with HIV. AIDS Services Dallas, Bryan’s House and AIDS Arms have been recipients of grants from that organization.

—  David Taffet

The person who’s provided housing for everyone else for 25 years is homeless

Don Maison

AIDS Services Dallas President and CEO Don Maison is looking for a place to live for the next three months after a fire started in the upstairs apartment of his East Dallas duplex.

ASD began providing housing for persons living with AIDS in 1985. Maison has headed the organization since 1989, helping to provide a place to live for thousands of people over the years. But now Maison is without a home.

“I’m fine,” Maison said. “No one was hurt.”

The fire began in the upstairs apartment when Maison’s tenant lit a fire in the fireplace. Flames got behind the wall starting the fire. Ten firetrucks responded. Maison said his part of the houses suffered mostly water and smoke damage. There were no injuries.

Maison said he was surprised when firefighters entered his house with tarps and covered — and saved — his artwork and piano.

However, structural damage will take several months to repair. Insurance is covering the damage and a temporary place to live. Maison said he thinks he found something near his house where they will sign just a three month lease with him.

—  David Taffet

LSRFA distributes funds

Co-chairs and agency representatives at LSRFA wrap party

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS distributed proceeds from the 2011 bike ride on Sunday, Oct. 23 at a party held on the rooftop of the Wyly Theatre in the Arts District.

Three agencies — Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Services Dallas and AIDS Outreach Center — split the $125,000 proceeds. About half the riders and crew were on hand for the check distribution.

Riders and crew also signed up for the 2012 ride that takes place on Sept. 23-24.

John Tripp finished his second year as event co-chair. Danny Simpson will be senior co-chair for 2012 and David Hodge begins a two-year term as co-chair. More pics from the wrap party available here.

—  David Taffet

LSR starts season with record number of riders

Jerry Calumn at the LSR kick-off party on Sunday.

Lone Star Ride kicked off its new season with a party on the ninth floor of the Wyly Theatre in the Arts District in Downtown Dallas on Sunday afternoon. More people are registered for LSR’s 11th annual ride Sept. 24-25 than ever before at this point in the season.

Previous riders were offered half-off registration fees if they brought a new rider who registered for this year’s event.

At the kickoff party, about 115 people registered to ride, bringing the total to 134. In addition, 48 people have committed to serve as volunteer crew members.

Jerry Calumn, the new ride director, said that he expects cumulative donations to beneficiaries this year to surpass the $2 million mark since LSR was founded in 2001.

Calumn said he thinks a number of crew members from previous years signed up this week to be riders.

“There was a great energy,” he said.

He plans to continue that energy with a number of events in addition to the training rides. Several events are planned for Fort Worth as well. On June 1, they will have happy hour and sign up riders at The Garage at The Pour House, 2725 W. 7th St.

Calumn worked at Resource Center Dallas during the 1990s. RCD is one of the event beneficiaries along with AIDS Services of Dallas and AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County. More pics from the kickoff party below.

—  David Taffet