Jan 31, 200806:44 PMThe Life
Save the date! 14th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala on Saturday, February 2, 2008
The Palm Springs Convention Center will be filled with a Latin beat on Saturday, February 2, 2008 when the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards celebrates its 14th year with a "Flying Down to Rio" theme.
Festivities begin with cocktails and viewing of the silent auction offerings at 5:15 P.M. followed by dinner at 7:00 P.M. Wells Fargo returns as presenting sponsor for the annual fundraising event that honors individuals and organizations committed to fight against HIV and AIDS. All proceeds benefit Desert AIDS Project, which provides its clients with complete and compassionate medical care, case management, and social services, in addition to performing community outreach for HIV education, prevention, and testing.
Sam Harris, a Steve Chase gala favorite, will once again perform his singing-host duties. He will be backed by the 18-member Bill Elliott Copacabana Orchestra - renamed for the evening's theme.
Judith Light, dedicated supporter of AIDS and gay-rights causes, will be honored with the Arts & Activism Award, presented by America Ferrera, title character and Ms. Light's co-star on the hit TV series "Ugly Betty." Dr. Donald Francis, one of the first scientists to grasp the significance of the AIDS epidemic and its likely impact on the world, will receive the Science & Medicine Award, presented by Renata Simone, Emmy Award-winning producer of the documentary, "The Age of AIDS."
Russ Russell, outgoing President of the Board of Directors for D.A.P., will be honored with the Partners for Life Award. As a founding member of D.A.P.'s 100 Women major donor program, Susan Unger, newly-elected Vice President of the D.A.P. Board, will receive the 100 Women Award.
Actress Betty White, Emmy Award-winning star of "The Golden Girls" and pet-lover extraordinaire, will present a check to David Brinkman, Executive Director of Desert AIDS Project. These funds will be used to provide food for pets of D.A.P. clients whose financial circumstances sometimes force them to choose between their own medication and food for their pets.
In addition to the extensive silent auction offerings, this year's live auction includes some very special items. These include very special travel packages, like a 12-day cruise for two from Rome to Athens, furnished by Crystal Cruises; a private party for 50, furnished by Carousel Catering; and a one-week stay at a completely refurbished 16th century French chateau, furnished by HomesAway of Toronto, Canada. Also offered for auction will be a one-of-a-kind glass sculpture, specially designed for the Steve Chase gala and donated by Dale Chihuly, whose work appears in the Palm Springs Art Museum and the Venetian hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
New to this year's Steve Chase gala will be a raffle drawing for a week-long trip to Rio de Janeiro. Furnished by Above and Beyond Travel, this package includes round-trip business-class airfare for two and accommodations for five nights at a four-star hotel in Rio, as well as a specially-designed day tour to Sugar Loaf and Ipanema Beach. Tickets are offered at only $200 and ticket sales will be limited to only 300 - so there is a great chance of winning this trip with a retail value of $12,000. To get your raffle tickets, call 323-2118, extension 249. Winners need not be present to win.
Bill Jones and Tim Hanlon, co-chairs of the gala, promise surprises as well throughout the evening. But it's doubtful that any surprise could match the sure-to-be-high-energy closing that will be provided by the incomparable Charo and her "Latin Explosion."
Some event tickets are still available at $425 each. To purchase event or raffle tickets, please call (760) 323-2118, extension 249.
Desert AIDS Project at the Greenburg-Peet Family Center is the organization in our community where people living with HIV and AIDS can receive comprehensive services to help manage HIV disease. D.A.P. offers primary medical care through its Wells Fargo HIV Health Center. The Project provides widespread education and prevention services for schools, civic organizations, businesses, churches, and health organizations throughout the communities it serves. Anonymous HIV testing is also provided. For more information, call 760-323-2118.