The Nashville CARES Board of Directors announced the 2015 recipients of the J. Thomas Powell and Corporate Partner Awards at a Donor Appreciation Reception at the home of Steve Sirls and Allen DeCuyper on Tuesday, May 19.

The J. Thomas Powell Award recognizes volunteers who have demonstrated extraordinary support for the cause of HIV and AIDS by volunteering for Nashville CARES and other organizations. The Board created the award in honor of CARES' founder Tommy Powell, a tireless advocate for people living with HIV, who died of AIDS shortly after the award was created during the agency's tenth anniversary in 1995. The 2015 J. Thomas Powell Award was presented to Timothy Hampton (AKA “Thunder Kellie”), a long-time volunteer with Nashville CARES.

Since 2007, Hampton has worked with Brothers United and the Brothers Network of Tennessee, two of CARES' programs for African American same gender-loving men, since 2007. He also participated in the "One Voice" project sponsored by CARES' Healthy U program in 2008.

As Thunder Kellie, Hampton manages an extensive social media campaign to raise HIV awareness and combat HIV-related stigma. His LHIV (pronounced "LIVE") campaign advocates for a holistic approach to empowering HIV-infected men and women to live open and healthy lives as people with HIV. An educator by profession who was infected during his college years, he speaks at area colleges to educate young people about HIV.  Hampton has used his LHIV website and You Tube videos to promote and participate in the annual Nashville AIDS Walk & 5K Run.

“Thunder Kellie is a huge ally for Nashville CARES in the Middle Tennessee community,” said Nashville CARES CEO, Joseph Interrante. “As someone who is living with HIV, he is committed to educating young people about the disease. His creative online approach captures young audiences, which is vital in working to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee. We are grateful that he dedicates his time and expertise to CARES.”

The Corporate Partner Award was created by the Nashville CARES Board of Directors in 2012 to recognize the role of the private, for-profit sector in building a community response to end HIV/AIDS. The 2015 recipient of this prestigious award is Embassy Dental.

Embassy Dental provides a full range of dental services at seven Middle Tennessee locations. A partner in CARES' dental services program for more than 10 years, Embassy Dental also has provided education about oral health along with in-kind contributions of toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste to clients at agency health fairs and other client events. They are corporate partners for the Nashville AIDS Walk & 5K Run, Avant Garde and the Red Ribbon Breakfast, in addition to co-sponsoring Dining Out For Life with NPS Pharmacy. In total, Embassy Dental has provided over $67,000 in monetary contributions to assist CARES in underwriting fundraising events.

“Embassy Dental’s contributions to Nashville CARES are immeasurable,” said Interrante. “Their significant financial support allows us to raise awareness and funds through high-profile events that support our services and programs.”




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