Aunt Rita’s Foundation closed a ten-year tradition with a bang as the final RED Brunch generated a record $250,000 to support programs and services by HIV-AIDS service providers.
Nearly 750 individuals attended the final RED Brunch, presented by the Matthew B. Harty Family Foundation, on Dec. 11 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix. RED Brunch celebrated World AIDS Day, remembered those lost to HIV/AIDS, celebrated those who are living a positive life and those striving to help as many people as possible with HIV to thrive. Former Aunt Rita’s executive directors Glen Spencer and Kit Kloeckl were the co-chairs.
“It was a wonderful send-off for a signature event that has generated nearly $1.4 million over the past ten years,” said Aunt Rita’s Executive Director Jimmy Thomason. “We are deeply grateful for the support we have received and we are really looking forward to what we have planned for next year as we start a new tradition.”
Through events like RED Brunch, RED is the Night and AIDS Walk Arizona, Aunt Rita’s, in combination with the generosity of individuals, corporations and foundations throughout the year, Aunt Rita’s Foundation is able to grant critically needed funds to the network of HIV service provides in Arizona offering support, critical services and education to those living with or affected by HIV.
Danielle Williams and Jimmy Thomason present Heart Awards to Michael Sheppard, Jeremy Hyvarinen, and Laura Clarke-SteffenRandy Bingham
“RED Brunch really came a long way over the years and we truly believe our new event will elevate the experience next year and beyond,” Thomason said.
He said that next year, attendees will gather for a Picnic in the Park at Margaret T. Hance Park in Phoenix. Details will be announced in the coming months.
For more information about Aunt Rita’s Foundation, visit www.auntritas.org.
ABOUT AUNT RITA'S FOUNDATION
Since 1986, in its mission to end HIV in Arizona, Aunt Rita’s Foundation has granted more than $2 million to 14 partner agencies and develops innovative gap-filling educational and HIV prevention and testing programs that complement and support existing critical community-based resources. Partner agencies include The Bill Holt Clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, CAN Community Health, Chicanos Por La Causa Luces Program, Ebony House, HEAL International, HIV Care Directions, Joshua Tree Feeding Program, McDowell Healthcare Clinic, Native Health, one n ten, Southwest Behavioral Health Services, Southwest Center and Terros Health. Aunt Rita’s distributes free Home HIV Test Kits through GetTestedAz.org and provides vouchers for confidential HIV and syphilis tests at 100 Safeway stores and Sonora Quest locations statewide. Aunt Rita’s also created the HIV and Aging Initiative to provide the rapidly aging HIV-positive community with specialized support. Aunt Rita’s signature fund-raising events are AIDS Walk Arizona, RED Brunch and RED is the Night. Aunt Rita’s Foundation also works to increase awareness and education about HIV/AIDS statewide through HIVAZ.ORG. For more information, visit www.auntritas.org or call (602) 882-8675.
Photos by Randy Bingham