The Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend with the MetroBall.
The dance party held at a local nightclub will be a milestone for the group, which in the past has relied on small parties at the home of founder David Hearn to fill its coffers, Hearn said.
“We wanted to get more exposure and let more people know what we’re doing,” Hearn said.
The group was started in memory of Hearn’s lover, who died 12 years ago.
Dollgener, who discovered he had AIDS in 1987, moved to North Texas in 1989. He soon became a volunteer with the AIDS Resource Center of Dallas and with AIDS Interfaith of North Texas, and in 1990 joined with a small group of friends to begin holding Pre-Razzle Dazzle Parties in June, using the events as a way to collect donations of non-perishable items for AIDS service organizations. Dollgener also convinced his friends to hold a second annual party in September, this one called the Virgo Party with admission donations going to AIDS Services of North Texas. The two parties are still held each year.
In 1996, wanting to honor their friend’s memory and carry on his volunteer work, Hearn and a group of Dollgener’s friends came together to form the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. Hearn said the small fund focuses on working with larger AIDS organizations to fill in the gaps in services.
Hearn said the organization has raised more than $220,000 in its 10 years and has helped more than 2,000 individuals. Because the organization is operated by an all-volunteer board and has no paid staff, about 97 percent of the money it raises is dispersed to people with AIDS.
The MetroBall is “primarily a big dance party,” Hearn said. But there will be raffles for a variety of donated items, and everyone who buys a ticket will have a chance to win a 32-inch flat-screen liquid crystal display television that was donated. There will also be a table set up promoting AIDS Arms LifeWalk, since the Dollgener fund has been chosen as a benefiting partner for the annual walkathon set for October.
MetroBall is scheduled from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Throckmorton Mining Co., 3014 Throckmorton St. Advance tickets $20, available through Friday online at www.gdmaf.org. Tickets will also be sold at the door Saturday for $25.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 09, 2006.