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Dr. Bob Wood honored at World AIDS Day Luncheon
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Dr. Bob Wood honored at World AIDS Day Luncheon

by James Whitely - SGN Contributing Writer

On December 1, in commemoration of World AIDS Day, about 700 people gathered at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center for the 6th Annual World AIDS Day Luncheon. The complimentary luncheon was sponsored chiefly by Multifaith Works. It featured speakers, a short film, and an awards ceremony.

Emceed by KING 5 co-anchor Joyce Taylor, the luncheon served as a fundraiser for Multifaith Works, the Dunshee House, Gay City Health Project and Seattle Counseling Services. The luncheon earned $95,160 for the four agencies.

Speakers from the various benefitting organizations spoke about the work that they do in the Seattle area and presented some unsettling statistics about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in King County.

The short film which was screened, Can't Be Done Alone, featured interviews with members of the community speaking on not only how HIV/AIDS has affected them, but how organizations like Gay City and Dunshee House have affected their lives.

"Shanti" was the word of the day for the luncheon. A staple word of the work Multifaith works does, shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning "inner peace through understanding." The idea is that inner peace is derived from an ongoing relationship of equals, in which service is given freely and with compassion in such a way that both the giver and the receiver benefit.

At the end of the luncheon, the AIDS Service Award was presented to Dr. Bob Wood, who has dedicated his career to fighting HIV/AIDS. Dr. Wood is retiring from his position as director of the Seattle-King County Health Department's HIV/AIDS Control Program for Public Health in January. Dr. Wood plans to take a much-needed six-month vacation, then resume his work in a smaller capacity.

Seattle joined the rest of the world in observing World AIDS Day, a day of commemoration and remembrance of those lost, and a day to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS epidemic that is still, unfortunately, abundant all across the world.

Multifaith Works unites communities of compassionate care and inclusive spirituality with people living in isolation and loneliness. For more information on Multifaith Works, visit www.multifaith.org.

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