On Monday, Nov. 25, the AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City (ASFKC) will hold its annual World AIDS Day Community Luncheon at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. At the luncheon, a panel of local experts will discuss HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, treatment and services, following the theme of “Think Globally; Act Locally.”

The luncheon will also feature the foundation’s presentation of the very first Mark Dreiling Community Leadership Award, named in honor of the longtime Kansas City leader, mentor and organizer. Invitations to the luncheon were mailed in late October. Dreiling himself will be the first recipient (posthumous) of his namesake award.

Dreiling was thoroughly involved with ASFKC on many levels, serving on the boards of Hope Care Center and Kansas City CARE Clinic. He was a tenacious volunteer and fundraiser, establishing the local signature events around World AIDS Day and the Bloom Party that benefits Kansas City CARE Clinic. Dreiling lost his battle with cancer in 2012, and the Mark Dreiling Legacy Council formed in 2013 to honor him and to bring awareness to the type of work he did.

The council established criteria for its first award and accepted nominations for recipients who display the attributes of leadership, commitment, integrity, mentorship and fun around the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness. The Legacy Council established funding levels for patrons of the award, and those patrons will attend a Patron Party at the home of Dan Nilsen on Nov. 14.

On Dec. 1 – the actual date of the global commemoration of World AIDS Day – ASFKC will hold a patron reception in Westport. ASFKC's young adult outreach affiliate, the Millennial League, will hold its Code Red 2013 patron event immediately following the reception at the same location.

The AIDS Service Foundation of Greater Kansas City is a local nonprofit that raises awareness and funds for the four local AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs): Kansas City CARE Clinic, Hope Care Center, SAVE Inc. and Good Samaritan Project. Its main fundraising/awareness events are AIDS Walk Kansas City, which has a large number of satellite events that precede and follow it, AIDS Bicycle Cruise and World AIDS Day. Allocation for funds follows a formula of 80-10-10, with 80 percent going to the ASOs, 10 percent to the community grants fund and 10 percent to the foundation.

First observed in 1988, World AIDS Day is commemorated annually Dec. 1, with global responsibility shifting over the years from the World Health Organization to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and finally to the World AIDS Campaign. Each year, the president of the United States officially proclaims the day.
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