AIDS Community Watch

Holiday Donations to Assist Clients in Need

The holidays are upon us, and the weather is quickly chilling.  Donations to AIDS Project Rhode Island (APRI) are more important than ever and the generosity of the community is needed more than ever.  “These are terrible economic times, and there is so much less available for the very needy — at The Project, we serve many of Rhode Island’s most vulnerable individuals,” said Ron Gonscak, long-time case worker at APRI.  All types of donations are accepted during this annual holiday appeal including coats, hats, gloves, sweaters and other clothing items, gift cards to grocery stores, Dunkin Donuts, restaurants, and department stores, and perhaps most important, cash donations.  To make a contribution or donation, please contact APRI at 831-5522.

APRI Announces the Retirement of Dr. Gordon C. Cooper

Dr. Gordon Cooper serves as the Clinical Administrator for APRI and has worked for Family Service Rhode Island for more than 20 years.  He has been a valuable part of the APRI team, and has impacted the lives of countless clients — and colleagues — over the years.  Delores Brooks, a case manager at APRI who has worked with Cooper for over 20 years, says of him, “Gordon has been a joy to work with; clients just love him…he is always in good humor and spirits. We will miss him and wish him all the very best.”

While he will remain at The Project on a part-time basis, Gordon looks forward to spending more time with his partner Richard and his beloved dogs.  According to APRI Executive Director Stephen Hourahan, “Gordon has been the glue that has held some of our most impactful programs together, and he has been a valued leader at AIDS Project Rhode Island. I thank him for his leadership, his professionalism, and most importantly for his unparalleled commitment to the staff and clients at both AIDS Project Rhode Island and Family Service of Rhode Island.”

Help Spread the Holiday Cheer

Now that the holiday season is upon us, AIDS Care Ocean State (ACOS) is launching their annual holiday campaigns to provide gifts, heat, clothing and other items to our clients. The Adopt-a-Family Campaign is an easy way to support the clients of ACOS during the holiday season. For just $50, a family is provided with gifts, heat for their homes, and warm clothing. Stephen Hartley, Development Director at ACOS believes the Adopt-a-Family Campaign is one of the best ways to contribute. “Most people spend so much on gifts every year, and now with the economy the way it is, community support is needed now more than ever. If five people in your office donate ten dollars each, that is one family who will receive what they need to get through this holiday season,” Hartley says.

ACOS also launches Giving Trees to support their clients for the holidays. Giving Trees are a great way for offices and local businesses to get involved. Each business is given a tree that is decorated with ornaments. Each ornament represents a gift one of our clients wishes for this year. Clients, customers, and co-workers are invited to take an ornament and replace it with a gift. ACOS then wraps and delivers the gifts to their clients. Paul Fitzgerald, CEO of ACOS, comments on the importance of Giving Trees, “Our clients are so grateful to receive gifts during the holidays. Even if it is one present, it makes their day brighter and more cheerful, which is what the holidays should be about,” he said.

If you are interested in setting up a Giving Tree at your place of business, please contact Stephen Hartley at 521-3603 for details. To Adopt-a-Family, please visit www.aidscareos.org. Thank you for your support.

Legends! 2011 Calendar has Arrived

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for the release of the new Legends! calendar, your wait is over! The 2011 Calendar was officially released on Sunday, November 7, at the Hi-Hat at 3 Davol Square in Providence. The party included a fabulous drag show provided by the lovely Legends ladies and an autographed signing by all the women featured in the calendar.

There was much speculation about whether this year’s calendar could trump the Fairytales theme of last year, and there was a resounding “yes!” from the audience on Sunday evening. The 2011 Calendar, aptly titled Decades features some of the most iconic figures from each decade beginning in the 1900s. From flappers to Lady Gaga, the Decades calendar covers it all!

ACOS and RI Pride would like to extend our deepest thanks to David Deegan, Brendan Gross, Rodney Davis, Brian Mills, the Hi-Hat and all of the sponsors and the Legends performers for making the evening spectacular.

Legends! 2011 Calendars are now available for purchase at www.aidscareos.org. For only $15.00 you can look at the lovely Legends ladies all year long! All proceeds from calendar purchases support ACOS and RI Pride. They make great gift ideas for the holidays!

For more information about AIDS Care Ocean State, please visit www.aidscareos.org. To learn more about Rhode Island Pride, please visit www.prideri.com.