Health/Fitness » HIV/AIDS

Broadway Legend Chita Rivera Hosts GMHC’s Spring Dinner Gala

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Mar 25, 2014
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Chita Rivera shines at the Spring Gala
Chita Rivera shines at the Spring Gala  (Source:www.gmhc.org)

Broadway legend Chita Rivera will donate her time on Wednesday, March 26 to host GMHC’s annual Spring Dinner Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. The event will also feature producer Joy Tomchin and director David France of "How to Survive a Plague."

"We are honored that Chita Rivera is our host for this year’s gala. We appreciate her generosity and are excited to see her on stage at Cipriani 42nd Street," said GMHC’s Managing Director of Development, Communications & Marketing, Seth Rosen.

At the gala, representatives from three productions will be in attendance (Focus Features, HBO, and Joy Tomchin, executive producer of "How to Survive a Plague"). GMHC will show a brief video featuring clips from the films "Dallas Buyers Club," "How to Survive a Plague" and "The Normal Heart" for their powerful ability to remind us about the early history of the AIDS epidemic, and how they have contributed to heightened awareness of the critical issues of HIV and AIDS today.

GMHC notes that the NYC Health Commissioner Mary Bassett delivered some very good news to the City Council earlier this month: for the first time since 1983, AIDS is no longer one of the top ten causes of death in New York City, falling from 766 deaths in 2011 to 609 in 2012.

But while fewer people in New York and the U.S. are dying of AIDS, the reality is that 72 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are not yet in care or receiving the full benefits of antiretroviral treatment.

Moreover, Congress slashed funding for HIV/AIDS organizations including GMHC last year, as part of sequestration, and funding still remains hundreds of millions below pre-sequestration levels.

"The results are painfully clear: new HIV/AIDS infections in low-income communities of color have been sharply on the rise, particularly among young black and Latino gay men," said Rosen. "We must continue to expand our prevention initiatives in communities of color, while also investing in expanding the scope of our frontline treatment and care programs for thousands of people with living with HIV and AIDS. That is why it is essential for donors to continue to support our life-sustaining services by attending Spring Dinner Gala and other annual fundraisers at GMHC."

Other guests at the event will include Dr. Larry Mass, one of the founders of GMHC; Roberta "Robbie" Kaplan, Esq., who represented Edie Windsor in the DOMA-busting case; OUT 100 honoree and GMHC board member Dr. Demetre Daskalakis; Kevin de L’Aigle of Armani Exchange; Michael Adams of SAGE; and Glennda Testone, executive director of the LGBT Community Center.

Leadership from the following Corporate Sponsors will be in attendance: HBO, TD Bank, Toyota, Duane Reade Charitable Foundation, Delta Airlines (the Official Airline of GMHC), Preferred Pride Hotel Group, Focus Features, OUT Magazine and HIV-Plus Magazine, Metrosource, Go! Magazine and Gay City News.

Established in 1982, GMHC is the world’s first provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. In addition to the wide array of programs that provide support to thousands of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, GMHC also links people to medical treatment and care, especially those who are newly diagnosed with HIV.

"For over 30 years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Broadway community has stepped up to be immensely supportive by helping to raise much-needed funds for GMHC and other AIDS service organizations. GMHC is tremendously grateful for this community’s longstanding support and leadership," reads GMHC’s press statement.

GMHC’s annual Spring Dinner Gala will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26 at Cipriani 42nd Street, 110 East 42nd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) in NYC. For more information, visit http://www.gmhc.org

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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