AIDS experts to speak at luncheon
Two noted experts on AIDS will be the featured speakers at a fund-raising luncheon that will begin at 3 p.m. Aug. 18 at South Lake Tahoe. The event will benefit the Sierra Foothills AIDS Foundation.
Journalist William Carlsen is the recent recipient of the Pan American Health Organization award for his two part series on the origin of the AIDS epidemic published in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Founded in 1902, the Pan American Health Organization is the oldest public health agency in the world. In awarding Carlsen the prestigious prize, its judges cited his “reportorial depth and writing excellence.”
Carlsen’s controversial series probed two theories on the origin of the AIDS pandemic, both indicating that modern medicine might have played a central role in spreading the disease.
Also, speaking at the lunch will be Neil Flynn, M.D., who is familiar to south shore audiences for his informative talks on AIDS. Dr. Flynn is professor of clinical medicine and director of AIDS and related disorders at the University of California Davis Medical Center at Sacramento.
Held in the garden of Don Regis-Bilar’s residence, this will be the third consecutive year the friends of Patrick Bennett have hosted a summer fund-raiser in this venue. Regis-Bilar is the volunteer fund-raiser for the Sierra Foothills AIDS Foundation.
Following the success of the group’s fund-raiser at Riva Grill in late June, they consider themselves on a roll. “With HIV infection on the increase, federal funding on the decrease and public interest having been in decline, the success of our Riva Grill event is an indication that the cycle could be turning,” Regis-Bilar said. “It is a heartening sign in the face of great frustration.”
In addition to the speakers, Jackie Landrum, who has been voted south shore’s favorite female vocalist for a number of years, will perform. Landrum has only begun to sing again after having been diagnosed with, and treated successfully for, cancer.
“I’m here today because of a drug developed through AIDS research,” Landrum said. ” I am committed to the cause.”
Robert Maloon, a local dancer and dance instructor also will perform. He has created an original tap number for the event.
Paul Bruso, owner of Ernie’s Coffee Shop, will receive the Friends of Patrick Bennett Humanitarian Award 2002 and lunch is being held in his honor.
“After years of honoring the south shore community with his good works and feeding us with his good food, it is a privilege for us to honor and feed him,” Regis-Bilar said.
The menu includes grilled salmon and shredded chicken breasts mixed with Jasmine rice, scallions, cashews and mandarin oranges in a cream sauce.
Due to limited space tickets must purchased or reserved in advance. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Tahoe Douglas and South Lake Tahoe chambers of commerce and Ernie’s Coffee Shop or by contacting (530) 544-6959 or AIDSTahoe@aol.com.
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