by Victoria Backle
The Red Ribbon Gala is back in Tulsa for its twentieth anniversary and they plan to be even bigger than their previous years. They are proudly the largest annual fundraising event for Tulsa Cares, an organization dedicated to the empowerment and equality for those affected with HIV and AIDS. This year’s theme – standing united with the HIV/AIDS community.
The event will be held at 6 p.m. at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa on March 4, 2017. The gala will feature an auction, live speakers, informative displays, and other exciting collaborations.
“The focus this year will be on the stigma associated with HIV and AIDS that people still experience,” said Amanda Swope, a Tulsa Cares board member. “This year’s title is ‘Fifty Shades of Red’, which will feature local members of the community blindfolded, and we will also be continuing our educational theme as well.”
The Red Ribbon Gala focuses largely on educating the community about treatment and prevention as well as Tulsa Care’s mission statement of providing nutrition, care and support for those affected with HIV/AIDS. Through education and inclusion, the organization plans to erase the stigma that still lingers over the HIV/AIDS community.
“The motto of this year’s gala is ‘When we become untied from myths of the past, we become united in our mission of HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention’,” Swope asserted.
The Gala has been hugely successful in the past, raising $950,000 last year through sponsorships and donations. Swope says that with their record of success, they have a goal of raising one million dollars or more for Tulsa Cares this year.
To Swope and the Tulsa Cares organization, the most important aspect of this event is providing a resource for those living with HIV and AIDS. It is important to them that the community is aware they have allies and people fighting for the cause.
“To me, it’s about getting the word out there, about what we do, and about Tulsa Cares specifically. A lot of people in the community don’t know that we are a resource and this is what separates our event – we are not afraid to add that educational component.”
Copyright 2016 The Gayly – December 4, 2016 @ 12:15 p.m.