Aunt Rita’s Foundation, whose mission is to end HIV in all Arizona communities, has scheduled three big fund-raising and awareness events from September through February 2022. All proceeds will benefit Aunt Rita’s 14 partner agencies providing critical HIV services in Arizona including testing, treatment, behavioral health, housing, prevention and more.

“I can confidently say that many people know someone with HIV and don’t even realize it. We are working every day to eliminate stigma, increase prevention and take care of a community that has been largely ignored. HIV affects everyone, although it has a disproportionate impact on certain populations, particularly racial and ethnic minorities and gay and bisexual men. Together, we can stop this.”

Aunt Rita’s Foundation Executive Director Jimmy Thomason

Grammy Award-winning Motown and disco legend Thelma Houston will kick off the events on Saturday, Sept. 25 starting at 6 p.m. at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue for RED is the Night. The evening begins with tantalizing cocktails at the hosted bar and appetizing bites in the garden. Dinner in the main hall precedes Houston’s performance. Presented by Optum, individual tickets range from $175 to $250 for VIP front row seating and tables are $1500 to $2500 for VIP from seating for eight. Register here.

On Saturday, Dec. 11 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, 340 N. 3rdStreet in downtown Phoenix, the RED Brunch returns for its 10th anniversary. The signature event celebrates World AIDS Day (Dec. 1 each year) as friends and families gather to reflect on the past four decades and how HIV/AIDS has affected those we love. The event also will honor and recognize individuals and organizations providing essential services and programs to the state’s diverse HIV/AIDS community. Individual tickets are $100 with table host tickets for 10-seat tables at $1,000. Register here

 AIDS Walk Arizona 5K Walk and Run, the largest Arizona gathering to raise both funds and awareness, is Saturday, Feb. 19 at Tempe Beach Park, 250 W. Rio Salado Parkway in Tempe.  Registration begins at 1 p.m. with the Walk & Run starting at 3. Registration fees are $35 for virtual walkers, $45 for runners and walkers, $20 for student walkers (middle school, high school and college students with student IDs) and $10 for PAWS for the Cause for walkers and runners to bring their dogs. Register here

About Aunt Rita’s Foundation: Since 2005, 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. 

Photo courtesy of The Dinah

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Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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