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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 3, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 49
'Stronger Together' luncheon marks World AIDS Day
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'Stronger Together' luncheon marks World AIDS Day

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

On December 1, hundreds of Seattleites attended 'Stronger Together: Seventh Annual World AIDS Day Luncheon' at the Seattle Convention Center.

The luncheon was presented by Multifaith Works, an organization that unites communities of compassionate care and inclusive spirituality with people living in isolation and loneliness; Dunshee House, a non-profit organization that builds community and cultivates powerful, healthy lives by providing emotional support and personal development services to those affected by HIV/AIDS, the Queer communities, and those who love them; Gay City Health Project, a multicultural Gay men's health organization and the leading provider of HIV and STD testing in King County; and Seattle Counseling Service, which provides mental health and addiction services to LGBT communities of Seattle, King County, and the surrounding regions.

The event kicked off at 11:30 a.m. with Executive Director of Multifaith Works Arthur Padilla and KING 5 anchor Joyce Taylor welcoming the nearly 75 table captains and their guests. A video presentation, entitled Meet the Agencies, followed so luncheon attendees could familiarize themselves with the four community host organizations on the front lines of Seattle's HIV/AIDS battle.

Elaina Ellis, a local spoken-word artist and writer with TumbleMe Productions, delivered a powerful performance using the phoenix as a metaphor for survival.

Arthur Padilla joined Randy Beighle, Lane Powell PC, to present Janet L. Trinkaus with this s AIDS Service Award.

Janet is the founder of Rise-n-Shine. Since 1988, Rise-n-Shine has been providing emotional support programs, stability, advocacy, and AIDS education for children and teens affected by the disease, children and teens who live with a parent or other close family member with HIV/AIDS, and those who are infected themselves.

Janet is honored for her willingness to stand up and fight for children whose voices could have been lost or forgotten. Rise-n-Shine was the first program of its kind in the nation. She started the program because in her heart she felt that 'eventually women would become infected, and if women were infected, their children would be affected.'

AIDS organizations from around the globe have visited Rise-n-Shine to learn from Janet and the staff how to better support the children affected by the AIDS epidemic.

Janet thanked her staff and said the award is due, in part, to their hard work.

Attendees were then treated to a preview of the upcoming Seattle premiere of The Infection Monologues. The inspirational piece breaks new ground on the way we understand HIV infections among Gay men, HIV stigma, and living with HIV in 2010. Funny and thought-provoking, The Infection Monologues challenges the way we think about the contemporary HIV experience.

At the conclusion of the event, luncheon participants were asked to make a donation to Multifaith Works, Dunshee House, Gay City Health Project, and the Seattle Counseling Service so that they may continue carrying out the important services they offer.

World AIDS Day is observed December 1 each year and is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide and an estimated over 33 million people live with HIV.

In Seattle, the Space Needle was lit with red lights in observation of World AIDS Day.

Since 1995, the president of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. This year, President Obama said, 'Over the past three decades, brave men and women have fought devastating discrimination, stigma, doubt, and violence as they stood in the face of this deadly disease. & On World AIDS Day, we rededicate ourselves to developing a national AIDS strategy that will establish the priorities necessary to combat this devastating epidemic at home, and to renewing our leadership role and commitments abroad.

Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against HIV/AIDS is far from over. With an infection occurring every nine and-a-half minutes in America, there are more than one million individuals estimated to be living with the disease in our country. Of those currently infected, one in five does not know they have the condition, and the majority of new infections are spread by people who are unaware of their own status. HIV/AIDS does not discriminate as it infiltrates neighborhoods and communities. Americans of any gender, age, ethnicity, income, or sexual orientation can and are contracting the disease.

I urge the governors of the states and the territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.'

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