Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Soars to New Heights

Celebrating 30 years of Desert AIDS Project through music, stage, and screen

Jane Krakowski performing at Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards

Photo by Sherri Breyer


The 20th annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards at the Palm Springs Convention Center soared above any past Chase events.

It raised the bar in terms of entertainment and serious impact on the audience. The beautiful dinner decor, serious messages, film clips that moved your heart followed by similarly themed dance performances created a memorable evening. Add up-beat songs from entertainment sensations and a wow of an After Party. This year's Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards has to be one of the best events ever produced in the desert.

Here are the details. Honorees: Curt Ringness, Jr., 30th Anniversary Board of Directors Distinguished Leadership Award sponsored by Desert Regional Medical Center and presented by David Brinkman; Terri Ketover, 100 Women Award sponsored and given by Annette Bloch; David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard, Partners For Life Award sponsored by Eisenhower Medical Center and presented by Harold Matzner and Barbara Keller; Arts and Activism Award AIDS in Cinema presented to And The Band Played On, Sarah Pillsbury and Midge Sanford producers, Boys On The Side, Dan Roos writer, How To Survive A Plague David France writer director and Joy Tomchin executive producer, and Philadelphia, Ron Nyswaner writer and Ed Saxon producer.

Humanitarian Awards were interwoven with songs by entertainers Jane Krakowwski, LaTonya Holmes, Nita Whitaker LaFontaine, Tomasina Abate, Eden Espinosa, and Eric Martsolf backed by the Live It Up Productions cast. Clips were shown from the films selected for the Arts & Activism Award followed by dance segments carrying out the same theme choreographed and performed by Ray Leeper and the So You Think You Can Dance All Stars.

Barbara Keller and Jim Casey chaired the evening for the fifth consecutive year. Casey heads Integrated Wealth Management, Presenting Sponsor for the past five years at $1.5 million. Pinnacle Sponsor was Wells Fargo and Producing Sponsors Eisenhower Medical Center, Harold Matzner and Walgreen’s. Helene Galen was Entertainment Sponsor. Richard De Santis produced the show. Gina Leonard and Kim Waltrip were production consultants and with Trini Garza as creative director.

During a call for funds, Barbara and Jerry Keller pledged $50,000 while David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard added another $25,000 to the total. Funds from the event, including a silent auction, live call for funds, ticket sales and pledge card donations were expected to bring another $1.5 million to Desert AIDs Project.

Honoree Terri Ketover did more than accept accolades for her work as founding chair of 100 Women. She chaired the Chase Awards After Party, which found guests dancing up a storm while costumed go-go male and female dancers added to the fun.

Desert AIDS Project offers medical care, case management, and social services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Coachella Valley.

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