(EDGE) On Tuesday, November 29, AIDS Service Center NYC (ASCNYC) will mark a milestone: 25 years of serving New Yorkers navigating life with HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions.
"For 25 years, ASCNYC has sparked positive change in all its forms, helping thousands of New Yorkers overcome addiction, access medical care, escape homelessness, rejoin the world of work, and lead healthier, more self-sufficient lives," said Sharen Duke, Founding Executive Director and CEO of ASCNYC. "But our work is not done yet. Now, more than ever, we need your support to fight stigma and end the AIDS epidemic through prevention, treatment and care."
The benefit celebration will be highlighted by the presentation of ASCNYC's 2016 Changemaker Awards to Governor Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Olympic Diving Gold Medalist Greg Louganis and attorney Joseph Saltarelli of Hunton & Williams. Javier Morgado, Executive Producer of CNN's NEW DAY will serve as VIP host and emcee.
"I am truly honored to be recognized by an organization as dedicated as ASCNYC," Louganis told EDGE. "For 25 years, they have been on the ground providing life-saving services to New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS. As they mark this milestone, they show no signs of letting up until we end the epidemic for all. I so look forward to lending my voice to rally support for their cause."
Louganis said that everyday people can help support the cause by giving, and letting their voice be heard. The HIV/AIDS community is constantly in need of funding for everything from life-saving medications to basic needs like food and clothing to housing, said Louganis. With expected cuts coming to the national budget, your financial support is more needed than ever. And advocate. Be a voice for your neighbors living with HIV/AIDS. Contact your local officials and tell them to support funding for HIV/AIDS causes.
"As a new presidential administration comes into office, the future of HIV/AIDS funding and the programs it supports is in jeopardy," said Louganis, adding, "There is much reason to be concerned for the communities most affected by the virus: Black, Latin, gay and bisexual men, MSM (men who have sex with men, but do not identify as gay or bisexual), transgender, intravenous substance users, and people who are low-income or living in poverty. Now is the time to stand together and ensure the fight to end AIDS goes on."
Gov. Cuomo echoed Louganis' sentiment, saying he was honored to be named a Positive Changemaker, adding that "together, we are making critical advancements toward ending the epidemic in New York State, and I look forward to continuing that progress in the days to come."
ASCNYC opened its doors in 1991, during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis. Today, the agency operates six health and wellness facilities located throughout New York City. In addition to HIV, ASCNYC services address addiction, mental illness, hepatitis, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
The agency also offers help with housing, clothing, food deficiency and job placement. From nationally acclaimed peer training to poetry workshops, medical care to support groups, thousands of people each year take charge of their health and reclaim their lives with the help of ASCNYC.
"ASCNYC truly delivers on its promise to help low-income New Yorkers get healthy, stay healthy, and move forward in their lives," said corporate Changemaker Joseph Salterelli of Hunton & Williams.
In addition to the keynote address by Greg Louganis and a special appearance by Governor Cuomo, guests will enjoy a walk-around tasting featuring divine bites donated by Fat Witch Bakery, Freud, Pampano, Penelope, Rosemary's, Sazon Perez, and Speedy Romeo. Adding to the fun: Open bar, an amazing silent auction and an awesome live auction. Tickets are $350 each. All proceeds benefit ASCNYC.
ASCNYC's 25th anniversary celebration and Changemaker Awards will take place on November 29th from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Tribeca Three Sixty°, located at 10 Desbrosses Street, between Hudson and Greenwich streets.
For tickets or information, visit www.ascnyc.org/changemakers.