AIDS Assistance Program – Food Samaritans took the opportunity during its 24th annual Evening Under the Stars to announce a new alliance with Desert AIDS Project.
AAP CEO and Executive Director Mark Anton and Desert AIDS Project CEO and President David Brinkman noted that to better maximize the organizations’ combined efforts regarding nutritional support, AAP will lead the program. The agreement allows AAP clients to access services provided by DAP’s Greenburg Peet Campus.
AAP – Food Samaritans already provides nutritional support to improve the quality of life for low-income people living with chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
The rest of the evening included a festive sunset cocktail reception followed by dinner, an awards ceremony, a musical performance that had attendees on their feet dancing, and a magnificent fireworks display against the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains.
This year’s event honored Dr. Timothy Jochen and Lee Irwin (Jeannette Rockefeller Humanitarian Award), Gregg Selleck (Gloria Greene Inspiration Award), Laurie Weitz (Herb Lazenby Community Service Award), and, posthumously, Bob Pollock (Joanna Jakway Community Hero Award). The Corporate Angel Award was given to Eisenhower Medical Center, which was also the evening’s presenting sponsor.
Mistress of Ceremonies Bobbie Eakes, an Emmy-nominated actress, singer, and television host, weathered freezing temperatures and blasting winds while graciously keeping the equally weather-affected audience entertained.
Motown stars Martha Reeves and The Vandellas picked up on the weather challenge and began their set with the hit “Heat Wave,” which brought the audience to their feet and onto the dance floor for the remainder of the night. DJ Jerry Bonham followed with more Motown music and a trio of dancers who maintained the upbeat atmosphere.
To quote one of last year’s honorees, Terri Ketover, “It was a perfect evening to celebrate by helping to ensure that those in our community do not go to bed hungry,” said Terri Ketover, who was one of last year’s honorees. “What a wonderful reason to get dressed up and party.”
AAP – Food Samaritans
1276 N. Palm Canyon Dr, #108, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Photography by Loretta Vlach