Raising money charity has never been easy, but it seems like activists and groups have finally realized that throwing a fun bash of some sort is the best way to get people to fork over dough for HIV research, prevention, treatment, and services.
Since the number of new HIV infections have skyrocketed in the last few years, it's more important than ever to let people know how important testing, treatment, and research are. And these great new fall events will have you making money for the cause while dancing, roller skating, walking, or simply looking at some hot bodies.
Here are just a few great upcoming events you shouldn't miss:
Gay Men's Health Crisis' 23rd Annual Latex Ball
Over 2,000 people from around the — including super models, designers, famous photographers, and members of the House and Ballroom community —are expected to attend this much-anticipated New York City event which incorporates dance, fashion, and more as well as HIV testing and sexual health messaging from GMHC and 30 other groups (including the city and state health departments).
"The Latex Ball is an important public health intervention that primarily reaches Black and Latino youth and adults who continue to be disproportionately impacted by HIV," said Janet Weinberg, Chief Operating Officer of GMHC. "The ball taps into the creativity, resiliency and strength that exist within the House and Ball community, celebrates their community and dynamism and encourages members to channel their talents into ways that impact mainstream culture."
This year, the competition categories were designed around the cheeky theme of "Controversy Through Time: Where Scandals and Celebs Meet." Participants in the competitions (categories) compete amongst each other (such as walking the runway) for trophies and cash prizes in 27 categories in dance, vogueing, fashion, runway walking, and appearance (full list available on GMCH.org).
Before the event, entertainers will perform, including Dina Marie, Harmonica Sunbeam Singers: Lexz Pryde, and Lourdes 'Lulu" Morales (Deep in Vogue), and the Miesa Dance Team: The New Breed.
The House and Ballroom community, comprised predominately though not exclusively of Black and Latino LGBTQ individuals, is built uponan organizational structure of "houses." A "house" is considered a club or "surrogate family" which has a "house mother," "house father" and "children" who adopt the house name as their surname (e.g., Luna Khan, Father of the House of Khan, etc.). Members of the houses, both young and older, compete in balls and related activities sponsored by various houses and promoters throughout the year. House mothers and fathers often provide support for LGBTQ youth who otherwise might be homeless, nearly homeless, and/or without any parental guidance.
The House and Ball community was chronicled in the 1990 documentary, "Paris is Burning," directed by Jennie Livingston, in which she followed the members of the House and Ball community over the course of seven years. To this day, this movie is still considered a definitive film about the community.
With the House and Ball community losing many members to AIDS at the onset of the HIV epidemic in the 1980s, and with many other members either HIV-positive or at high-risk of contracting the virus, GMHC and leaders from the ballroom community created the House of Latex Project in 1989. The Latex Project, which runs the Latex Ball, continues to link community members with resources to improve health outcomes, and provide workshops on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Staff members from GMHC conduct outreach at balls, LGBTQ youth venues and through social media networks to incorporate innovative approaches to HIV prevention and safer sex messaging. GMHC also hosts mini-balls, also known as "kiki functions," that reach hundreds of youth and young adults, offer HIV testing and prevention materials, and serve youth who are not affiliated with a house, but who are part of the broader ballroom community.
The ball will be on Saturday, August 17, 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. at Terminal Five in New York City.
Keep A Child Alive's 10th Annual Black Ball
The Black Ball has raised over $18.5 million for children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India. Co-founded by singer Alicia Keys, Keep a Child Alive annual event always brings some of music's biggest stars to spread awareness for the cause.
Guests at this year's ball will be inspired by moving films, thought-provoking decor, and poignant speeches highlighting 10 years of KCA's bold journey to save lives. The ball has welcomed such artists like Jay-Z, Gwen Stefani, David Bowie, John Mayer, Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey, Usher, Paul Simon, Norah Jones, and much more.
This year's ball is set to take place on November 7 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
Click here for more information.
Broadway and Beyond Benefit Concert, Help Is On The Way
If you love Broadway and love giving your money to a great cause, this is one event you can't miss. Presented by the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, the much-anticipated Help is On the Way XIX: That’s Entertainment is the organization's 19th annual event — and it's still going strong.
This year’s all-star benefit concert features celebrities from Broadway, TV, Film and the recording industry. It’s jazz, pop and live performance, up close and personal, from some of your favorite performers including Glee's Alex Newell, famed female impersonator Jim Baile The Client List's Loretta Devine, Tony Award-winner Donna McKechnie, Broadway stars David Burnham and Carole Cool, The X Factor's Jason Brock, and many more.
The one-night only benefit raises money for four San Francisco Bay Area AIDS service agencies: AIDS Housing Alliance, Aguilas, Project Open Hand, and Shanti. It all happens August 18 at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. There's a silent auction and VIP party at 5:00 p.m., a gala reception at 6 p.m. (complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine tasting and martini and margarita bars), concert at 7:30 p.m., and a desert and wine after party with the cast at 10 p.m.
To buy tickets, visit Help is on the Way.
Skate Away HIV Day to Promote HIV Testing
In an effort to encourage more teenagers and young adults to get tested, Temple Hills Skating Palace in Temple Hills, Maryland, will give free admission and free skate rentals to the first 500 people who get tested on site on August 25, from 11a.m. to 7p.m.
Click here for more details.
Northern Nevada AIDS Walk/Run
Nevada's Annual AIDS Walk/Run brought in hundreds of people to Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno last year, and this year, it's expected to bring in even more because now your furry little friends can join in on the fun.
In addition to the annual 5K run and the 5K walk, organizers now have the new "3K Paws for the Cause" dog walk, as well as a new vendor village featuring health and wellness booths.
The walk is happening on Saturday, August 17 at Idlewild Park in Reno, Nevada.
Click here to register! It's only $25 for humans, $5 for dogs.