The Paths That Led Them to Fighting AIDS

There are thousands of stories of why people walk, volunteer or do other events to raise money in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here are just a few.

The Frye Family
Three of the most hard-working volunteers at the AIDS Walk events are Rick and Anne Frye and their daughter, Koree Frye. The Fryes have been married for 30 years and they have seven kids. For them, AIDS Walk is a family affair — they’ve involved all their children as volunteers or walkers at some point in their lives.

Anne and Koree have served as co-chairs of AIDS Walk for the last two years. Anne said they had been walking for 15 years and had been on the steering committee for four years.

Anne and Koree’s responsibilities include handing out flyers to area businesses in an effort to get donations to the Union Hill Parties Silent Auction. She said they’ve done this with the help of Claire Fitzsimmons and Katie Heschmeyer. The Silent Auction is a great success, but Anne said it’s amazing how many times they contact a business and get shunned when the person finds out the cause is HIV/AIDS.

“We’re just in awe, and they almost don’t want to take the paper. Koree is so good — she’ll lay the paper down and she says, ‘I’m going to leave the information with you, and if you want to donate we’d greatly appreciate it,” she said with a laugh.

Rick, who does house painting and construction for a living, said he had had problems with one man that he knew through work, who said to him, “Aren’t you afraid of getting AIDS by being associated with these gay guys?”

“I said, ‘You dumbass, you can’t get it by hugging them or being around them or drinking a beer with them.’ ”

Anne Frye said, “Being a straight woman having been raised in Johnson County, [I see that> there’s still a lot of people who think it’s a gay disease, and it isn’t. I was thinking last night — the reason we do it, the majority of the reason, was because Harvey [a friend who died of AIDS"> touched our souls so much. Harvey touched a core in the Fryes’ hearts that he’ll never know. It’s so sad that he’s not here.

“But the main reason why I do it is for our seven kids and our three grandbabies. If I could do anything for them to wipe it all out, that’s why I do it. Just not to see people suffer, but to educate my kids, my grandchildren, whatever. That’s why I do it.”

Rick, Anne and Koree know the routine of the AIDS Walk events well by now. Rick likes work behind the scenes, and Anne and Koree do a combination of whatever else is needed to make sure the events and the walk go smoothly. Whether it’s the BeerFest, AIDS Walk Open, Union Hill Parties, the AIDS Walk or any of the other events, the Fryes are doing tasks that range from schlepping ice and boxes, to transporting people and materials on golf carts, or monitoring the AIDS Walk Open miniature golf stands.

Rick said, “The enthusiasm at the putt-putt [AIDS Walk Open"> this year, for an example, was so good, and the organization of the core people with Michael Lintecum and Josh Strodtman and everyone that they have surrounded themselves with went off so clean that people on the steering committee and the directors all stayed and danced and had a good time at Missie B’s, where usually everybody was so worn out that they would all split and go veg out at the house. …Everybody and the people that created this organization are thrilled to death at all the people and all the enthusiasm.”

The family’s dedication to AIDS Walk means they’ve attended many fundraisers at the gay bars. It’s not uncommon for Rick to put on camp drag and do his best to lip sync as only a non-drag queen can do. It’s pure fun, and he helps raise lots of money. Rick spoke of the recent AIDS Walk retro party at Missie B’s where he did his signature bad wig/bad dress/bad makeup drag on a cold winter night with low attendance. He was amazed that they still raised $750 from the small crowd. Anne said that she’s amazed how often people come up to her and Koree in bars and think they’re a lesbian couple.

The Frye family will be setting up for AIDS Walk the day before the walk with volunteers from State Street and other AIDS Walk volunteers, and then return to Theis Park early the next morning and stay until late in the afternoon.

“It’s a long day, but a good day,” Anne said.

“We don’t do it because we want a pat on our back. We do it because of what we feel in our hearts,” Rick said.
Castro Movie Nights &amp

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

Keep readingShow less
by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

Keep readingShow less

Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

Keep readingShow less