There’s a story Tom Pence tells his group at their weekly “klassic coffee clatch” that tends to hit home with more than one person in the room.
“If you are HIV Positive and need help, Tuesday’s Angels is there for you,” Pence said.
Pence, aka Tomcat, goes on to tell the story of a friend who, living on a fixed income, lost the air conditioning in his home during the height of summer. Needing help fast, the man was referred to Tuesday’s Angels.
The move, undoubtedly, saved his life.
“We tend to act under the radar,” said Chuck Nicholls, Tuesday’s Angels Vice President. “We don’t flaunt our success.”
Since 1993, Tuesday’s Angels has served a vital role in providing care to South Floridians living with HIV/AIDS. The non-profit organization steps in quickly when government agencies cannot.
“We respond within 36 to 72 hours,” said Nicholls. “If there is a need, we’re there.”
Tuesday’s Angels assists clients; helping with everything from rent, utility bills to transportation. They rely on donations from individuals, corporations and organizations -- such as A Celebration of Friends -- to operate.
Over the years, A Celebration of Friends has donated over $120,000 to Tuesday’s Angels. ACOF’s mission is to provide warm, comfortable, safe and engaging gatherings recognizing and promoting self-worth, dignity, kindness and friendships of and within the senior population.
"Aging – with dignity and respect – is not an easy task," Pence said.
“Listening to stories of seniors struggling is really heart-breaking,” said Pence. “A Celebration of Friends is one the first organizations to openly tell older gay men ‘we appreciate and love you.’”
After two years in Orlando, A Celebration of Friends is returning to Fort Lauderdale for a “January Jamboree” Jan. 26 to 29 at the Ramada Inn, 3001 N. Federal Highway in Oakland Park FL. Activities for the jamboree include “A Terrific Toga Party,” A Beautiful Bathing Suit Contest,” “A Village People Night and the perennial favorite, “A Sexy Speedo Contest".
ACOF has completely taken over the Ramada for the weekend and the hotel is grateful for the business as men from across the world are expected to attend.
“Tomcat is such a great host,” said Kyle Gregory, Ramada Inn spokesman. “We are excited to be participating with a group that promotes the social welfare of our seniors.”
After two years of bringing in big names to headline the event – such as screen acting legend Ed Asner and former congressman Barney Frank - January’s Jamboree will be focused on giving back to local nonprofits. Proceeds from the Jamboree will directly benefit Tuesday’s Angels and senior services at Pride Center at Equality Park.
If You Go:
What: January Jamboree 2017
When: Jan. 26-29
Where: Ramada Inn, 3001 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale 33306
More Info: www.celebrationoffriends.org