WATCH: “AIN is …” from Saturday’s Bloomin’ Ball

The below video featuring longtime clients of AIDS Interfaith Network talking about what the agency has meant to them — using words like “hope,” “freedom” and “life” — represented one of the more poignant moments during Saturday’s Bloomin’ Ball … Sowing Seeds of Hope at the Hilton Anatole. So we were glad to get a chance to watch the video again after AIN Development Director Travis Gasper sent it out earlier today. (If you haven’t already seen it, you may want to grab some Kleenex before clicking play.)

“After you watch the video, consider making a donation to support clients like LaShanda and Samuel,” Gasper writes. “Just $20 can provide breakfast and lunch for three clients battling HIV/AIDS. Or donate $50, and provide a one-month unlimited bus pass, so clients like Billy can access life-saving medical care. Or support Dorothy and clients like her with a month’s worth of meals, for $125.”

On a side note, happy birthday to AIN Executive Director Steven Pace, who turned 60 the other day. Watch “AIN is …” after the jump.

—  John Wright

Frontrunners announce first Dallas Pride Run

Miami has one. New York has one. So do Chicago and San Francisco. Even St. Louis. But Dallas will get its first LGBT-centered run this year. Community group Dallas Frontrunners have announced their inaugural Dallas Pride Run set for Sept. 16 as part of the festivities for the Pride parade weekend.

“There’s never been a Pride run in Dallas’ history so I’m quite proud of it,” Lin Wang said.

The 5K race will be set early in the morn so as not to interfere with people’s parade plans for later that afternoon, but also to hopefully sidestep the summer heat a bit. While organization is still under way to finalize specifics, the race is set to begin at Reverchon Park and via the Katy Trail toward the the Blackburn bridge and back. Dog owners can get in on the action as well with the Paws Pride Parade 1k walk which will head opposite of the run. Frontrunners has also secured the parking garage across the street for registrants.

Wang feels the run will add a different element to Pride festivities and maybe even attract a broader crowd of athletes to the mix. He’s even sent invitations to Frontrunner groups in other cities to participate.

“We’re expecting 300 to 500 people. By comparison, Los Angeles has had more than 400 participants the last three years,” he added.

While Frontrunners still irons out all the details (such as registration fees, t-shirts and logos) and populates its new website, they are putting out the call for volunteers. Wang says he thinks right now, they could use up to 30 volunteers. They are needed to man water stations, man the food station and work the registration and package pickup stations. Those interested in helping can sign up on the site.

The group has been working closely with AIDS Interfaith Network’s Travis Gasper as the event is set to benefit the organization.

“When FrontRunners approached us earlier this year we were excited for this opportunity. Dallas has two walks and a great cycling event to raise awareness of and funds for AIDS. Other big cities have runs around their pride events, so we thought, why not Dallas? We have an active running community, and look forward to recruiting runners from Dallas and the region for our inaugural Dallas Pride Run,” Gasper said. “Earlier this month we found out HIV infection rates rose in Dallas County for the first time in five years. Funds raised from the Dallas Pride Run will help prevent the spread of HIV in our community. Now is the time to refocus our community on prevention, and get some exercise doing it, which is something we can all be proud of!”

—  Rich Lopez

GLBT Chamber announces 2012 award winners

Jack Evans, left, and George Harris

George Harris and Jack Evans, the local gay couple whom David Taffet profiled on the occasion of their 50th anniversary last year, will pick up another honor later this month from the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce. Evans and Harris will collect the chamber’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award during the group’s seventh annual dinner, set for March 28 at the Adolphus Hotel. Others who’ll be honored at the dinner are listed below. For more information or to register for the dinner, go here.

—  John Wright

Caven helps AIDS Interfaith beat the heat

Caven Enterprises donated 600 bottles of water to AIDS Interfaight Network. Pictured behind S4 on Cedar Springs Road, from left, are AIN drivers Israel Torres and Mike Archbold, Caven Director of Events Chris Bengston, Caven CFO Ben Polachek and Caven Vice President Carol McClung.

As temperatures rose to 106 in Dallas on Monday and topped 100 for the 25th consecutive day on Tuesday, officials at AIDS Interfaith Network were concerned about their low-income and homeless clients with HIV.

The Centers for Disease Control warns that people with chronic medical conditions such as HIV are less likely to sense and respond to changes in temperature. Also, they may be taking medications that can worsen the impact of extreme heat. The CDC recommends drinking more water than usual and not waiting until thirsty to drink.

Travis Gasper, AIN’s director of development, put out a call to local businesses. He said that within an hour, Caven Enterprises responded with a donation of 600 bottles of water to hydrate clients in the extreme heat.

The end of the month is AIN’s busiest time because clients line up to get their DART passes.

“These passes provide access to life-saving medical care, meals and social services,” said AIN Associate Director Edgar Carmona. “Our staff distributes passes as quickly as possible, but it’s not unusual to have lines outside AIN throughout most of the day. We knew we had to do something to help them survive in this heat.”

—  David Taffet

If you haven't had a chance to check out ilume, and you like free drinks …

RedPartyPosterFINAL

It looks like ilume, the newly opened mixed-use project on Cedar Springs Road, will host its first red-carpet gay fundraiser tonight, when Dallas Stonewall Young Democrats and LifeWalk Team Legacy put on a benefit for AIDS Arms Inc. According to a press release I received from DSYD President Travis Gasper this morning, the Red Party will feature an open bar (yes, that means free alcoholic beverages), hor d’oeuvres, valet parking and music by DJ Garrett Weiss. There will also be performances by Miss LifeWalk 2009 Skyla Miles, Aspen Tyler, Jenna Skyy, Sassy and 2nd Degree Fire Performers. A $10 donation is suggested at the door, and the event runs from 8 p.m. at 11 p.m. As of a few minutes ago, the Red Party had 187 confirmed guests on Facebook, so you may not want to miss it. For more info, e-mail dallasstonewallyd@gmail.com.

—  John Wright