By Staff Reports

TGRA holding Thanks for the Giving fundraiser on Sunday at Round-Up
Texas Gay Rodeo Association will hold its annual Thanks For The Giving event on Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Round-Up Saloon, beginning at 6 pm.

The event will highlight several TGRA charities, including AIDS Services of Dallas, The Resource Center of Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, White Rock Friends, Riding Unlimited, AIDS Arms, Dallas Legal Hospice, AIDS Services of North Texas and the North Texas Food Bank.

Performers representing each charity will vie for tips from the audience and the group with the most tips at the end of the night will receive the entire amount. All of the groups are beneficiaries of money raised by TGRA throughout the year.

Memnosyne Foundation sponsoring screening of new film about Harvey Milk
The Memnosyne Foundation is offering a free screening of "Milk," based on the life of the late Harvey Milk, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at The Angelika Film Center & Café, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas.

The event is free and open to the public, and the screening will be immediately followed by a question-and-answer intended to initiate bridge-building dialogue between the different demographics based on generation, culture, gender, economic status and more within the LGBT community.

The discussion will be facilitated by Rawlins Gilliland, a Dallas-based media writer and commentator for National Public Radio who knew Harvey Milk, and by Phillip E. Collins, the executive director of The Memnosyne Foundation.

A "Milk and Cookies" reception will be held following the dialogue session.

The film stars Academy Award-winning actor Sean Pean and tells the story of the life and assassination of Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California when he was voted in as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk served only 11 months as a city supervisor before he and non-gay Mayor George Moscone were assassinated at City Hall by Dan White, another city supervisor who had recently resigned and wanted his job back.

The Mission of the Dallas-based Memnosyne Foundation is to "provide mankind with the means to encourage positive peaceful global collaboration in all areas of knowledge." Foundation founder Mary Ann Thompson said this event was planned to help encourage communication and collaboration between different groups within the larger LGBT community.

"Because I have been blessed to know the remarkable creativity, intelligence and soulfulness shared by many of my gay friends, it has concerned me for some time now how little dialogue currently exists between the different generations, cultures, economic strata and genders within the gay community at large," Thompson said.

"If that gap can be mended, a people possessing the kind of innovative spirit they do can create a great future for themselves that can improve the quality of life for us all. It is our hope that this event will serve to initiate that kind of cross-generational dialogue within their community."

AIN director Pace to participate at World AIDS Day event at Grace UMC
The Rev. Steven Pace, executive director of AIDS Interfaith Network, will be among the speakers at a worship service to commemorate World AIDS Day at Grace United Methodist Church on Sunday, Nov. 30, at 10:50 a.m.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, which is held each year to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic.

"We at Grace United Methodist Church believe that we can become part of God’s healing when we open ourselves up to the troubles of the world and let God move us into compassion," said the Rev. Diana Holbert, pastor of Grace UMC. "Because we truly believe that God made each one of us in the image of God, we honor all people at Grace: straight and gay, black and white, old and young, rich and poor, sick and healthy. We are all precious in God’s sight and in the sight of our faith community.

For more information about Grace UMC, go online to

Mother of Ryan White to be keynote speaker at Dec. 5 World AIDS Day event
Jeanne White-Ginder will be the keynote speaker at a 2008 World AIDS Day event in Dallas to be presented Dec. 5 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in the Trinity II Ballroom, by the North Texas HIV Service Providers Council.

White-Ginder is the mother of Ryan White, the teenager whose name is on the federal funding package encompassing the majority of public health and support service funding for people living with HIV and AIDS.

The 2008 World AIDS Day event will include a large presentation of the National Memorial AIDS Quilt, an Information Faire featuring prevention and HIV-based services in North Texas, a luncheon with White-Ginder as keynote speaker, and the second annual Heroes of Hope Award.

The North Texas HIV Service Providers Council includes 10 Dallas AIDS service organizations that have joined in partnership for the 2008 World AIDS Day event. Raeline Nobles, executive director of AIDS Arms, chairs the event committee. Representatives from AIDS Services of Dallas, Bryan’s House, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center of Dallas, Legacy Counseling, Welcome House, AIDS Interfaith Network, Parkland HHS and Dallas County’s Early Intervention Clinic are also on the planning committee.

"The North Texas HIV Service Providers Council is very proud to have Ms. White-Ginder speak at our World AIDS Day event this year," Nobles said. "As the HIV field shifts in response to dramatic funding cuts in social support services, it is a time of great change and even greater anxiety among AIDS service organizations about what these cuts mean to the epidemic’s future.

"Having Ms. White-Ginder speak to us with her historical perspective and voice of advocacy will be very enlightening for everyone — clients, service providers and the general public."

Nobles said this year’s World AIDS Day event is an important part in the process of getting information out to the more than 24,000 people already living with HIV and AIDS in North Texas and the more than 1,500 more expected to be added this year.

"We are extremely invested in sharing information about HIV prevention and the growing impact of the epidemic on the economics, quality of life and health status of the D-FW area, so each partner is donating their time, dollars and expertise to our group effort," Nobles said.

David Thomas, executive director of Bryan’s House and HIV Service Provider Council chair, said the 2008 event is deisgned to reach out to other organizations who assist people living with HIV and AIDS in the Metroplex.

"Our first event last year was a learning experience in many ways," Thomas said. "This year we are ready to work with more organizations and invite them to participate in our educational activities."

Roger Wedell, executive director of the Legal Hospice of Texas, pointed out that the Trinity II Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole Hotel is about three times larger than the space that housed the group’s 2007 World AIDS Day event. The extra space is necessary, she said, to accommodate the added number of activities and a larger display of the NAMES AIDS Memorial Quilt that will be part of this year’s activities.

Sponsors for the event include Abbott Virology, Macy’s, Hilton Anatole Hotel, Nortel, The Print Connection, AIDS Arms, Inc., AIDS Services of Dallas, Open Arms, Inc., Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center of Dallas, Tibotek Therapeutics and Gilead Sciences.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 21, 2008.
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