Popular AIDS benefit in its final year | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Popular AIDS benefit in its final year

Provided to the Tribune

Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Sue Barton and Don Regis-Bilar, from left, of The Friends of Patrick Bennett, discuss the Riva Grill AIDS benefit.

Having sold out for the last three years, the annual Riva Grill AIDS Benefit is expected to do so again. Why, one might wonder, is the Friends of Patrick Bennett announcing that this will be its last fund-raiser for the foreseeable future?

“It’s been 10 years,” said Don Regis-Bilar, the informal philanthropic group’s founder. “Ten very good years of successful fund-raising and being advocates for social causes. We’re extremely grateful for the support we’ve received over the years, but we all agree it’s time to take a breather.”

“It’s simpler than that,” added Sue Barton, a founding member of the group and the person Regis-Bilar credits for the financial success of the events. “Patty Timmens, who was the original co-chair of the Friends of Patrick Bennett, will soon be retiring to her family’s farm in Iowa. Also, Don has been our leader from the start and he has opportunities as a writer which have recently developed that may have him leaving Tahoe as well.”

“AIDS has become the greatest health crisis in human history,” Regis-Bilar said. “It is projected that by 2020, 100 million people will have died from AIDS. And for the nearly 50 million people living with HIV disease today, it cannot be forgotten that AIDS is also the most stigmatized illness in all of history.

“The last 10 years have been great in relation to our raising awareness and fund for AIDS at Tahoe, but I believe I can be more effective as an author and journalist in addressing many of the issues which the Friends of Patrick Bennett have embraced.”

The fourth annual Riva Grill AIDS Benefit will take place at Riva Grill on the Lake from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 29. This year the fund-raiser will benefit CARES, the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services, and Northern California’s HIV/AIDS Healthcare Center that provides medical care for many south shore residents living with HIV/AIDS.

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“CARES provides people from all communities who are living with HIV and AIDS state- of-the-art, comprehensive healthcare and social services in a self-empowering environment,” said Azziza Davis-Goines, CARES’ director of development and community relations and Community Care Network for People of Color.

“With funding streams for CARES ever changing, donations such as the one being offered through this wonderful event, we can continue to help all patients regardless of their ability to pay,” Davis-Goines said.

The event features food, beverage, a silent auction, a live auction, a raffle and a dance to the band Get Kyle and The Coy.

Tickets are $30 and are available at both chambers of commerce. Tickets are limited and the event sells out. For more information call (530) 541-7720 or email Elevation6250FT@ aol.com.

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