Ernies owner gets humanitarian award |

Ernies owner gets humanitarian award

“In life, all of us have loads we carry,” Paul Bruso, owner of Ernie’s Coffee Shop, explained at a lunch held in his honor. “And some of us, like myself, are fortunate and have a very light load.

The lunch too place Aug. 18 and raised $1893 for the Sierra Foothills AIDS Foundation with 15 per cent going to the Romanian Association Against AIDS. That amount bring to a total of just over $15,000 raised this year by the Friends of Patrick Bennett, a philanthropic group with a focus on AIDS awareness, advocacy and fund-raising.

It was the third consecutive August the group has held a lunch to present the Friends of Patrick Bennett Humanitarian Award to an individual who enhances the quality of life for others. Paul Bruso, for his two decades of fund-raising at the south shore, was an obvious choice.

In his acceptance speech, Bruso drew an analogy from a recent four-day backpacking trip he and his family had taken together in Yosemite. His family members would help one another by taking weight from the packs of those having some difficulty.

“In life, people who aren’t so fortunate always have a full pack on their back,” he said. ” I think it’s the responsibility of those with a light load to try to help those with a heavy load.”

Held at the residence of south shore’s AIDS fund-raiser, Don Regis-Bilar, the event featured two 30-minute talks on AIDS. Neil Flynn, M.D., who heads AID research at U.C. Davis Medical Center, gave an update on the disease, warning that HIV-infection rates are on the increase in the United States and exploding globally.

William Carlsen, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle, delivered a talk based on his series on the origin of AIDS, for which he received the Pan American Health Organization award.

The event began with a rousing tap number by local dancer Rob Maloon. Jackie Landrum, accompanied by David Grantham on guitar and Liz Broscoe on drums, sang several songs which exemplified the soul of south shore on that day.

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