Cleveland--The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland has announced the recipients of this year�s Voices Against the Silence awards, honoring those individuals and institutions who have helped break the silence of AIDS over the past year.
This year, the Taskforce distributed nearly 500 nomination forms, resulting in dozens of strong recommendations. A committee that included non-Taskforce community leaders and advisors helped select the six award recipients:
For ten years, Camp Sunrise has been empowering children and families affected by HIV. Each summer, the camp provides a therapeutic community for more than 100 children affected by HIV and AIDS, promoting cooperation, compassion and acceptance--all at no cost to the camper and his or her family.
Kimberlin Dennis has been an inspiration for women living with HIV and AIDS in Cleveland and around the country. As founder and educator for the Ministry of Hope, an organization that visits churches and schools, she has educated and empowered hundreds of individuals to find hope and courage and join in the fight against AIDS.
Scott Frank, M.D.
Scott Frank is an associate professor of family medicine and the founding director of the master of public health program at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Earlier this year, he released a study that found flaws in Ohio�s abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and their potential to reduce sexually transmitted infections. His findings have helped prompt statewide reassessment of the Ohio curriculum.
In addition to being a longtime volunteer, Howard Lake is the co-founder and co-chair of ArtCares, an art auction benefit for the AIDS Taskforce. Since its inaugural year in 2003, ArtCares has become the Taskforce�s largest single fundraiser, due largely to Lake�s dedication through the years.
Regina McEnery has been covering health and medicine since 1991, most recently for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where her primary beat is public health. Over the years, she has written extensively about the impact of AIDS on different demographic groups and covered major developments in prevention and treatment of the virus and its numerous complicating factors.
Last year she traveled to Uganda for three weeks to write about a longstanding AIDS and tuberculosis partnership between Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. The series received top honors from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and the Pan American Health Organization.
Darnell �Big D� White
�Big D� has been a prevention specialist and mentor for youth for more than 20 years. He has worked with hundreds of students in the Cleveland area as a member of the SAMM, Stopping AIDS is My Mission, and a staff member of HOFNOD, Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs, a program of the Cleveland Treatment Center. As a person living with HIV, �Big D� sets an outstanding example of how individuals can continue to embrace and enjoy life in the face of chronic illness.
The awards will be presented at a special ceremony on Thursday, December 1 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the Taskforce offices, 3210 Euclid Ave.
After the ceremony, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., the Taskforce will host Show and Tell, an open house to celebrate the Taskforce�s new home and raise funds for HIV and AIDS services. Admission to the Voices ceremony is free and open to the public; tickets for the Show and Tell benefit are $75 per person and can be purchased at the door or reserved in advance at 216-3572223.
The Voices Against the Silence awards were initiated in 2000, and have since evolved into a community process that involves open nominations and committee-selected awardees.
Previous winners of Voices Against the Silence awards have included AIDS Funding Collaborative Chair Cathy Lewis; Dr. Michael Lederman of University Hospitals; community activist Gil Kudrin; Vic Gelb; Dr. Victoria Cargill; U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones; Dr. Robert Kalayjian of MetroHealth Medical Center; U.S. Representative Sherrod Brown; community activist Michael Abdenour; Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell; Matthew Kirlough, DDS; attorney Michael Goldberg; and others.
Previous keynote speakers for the annual awards ceremony have included Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett; Jeanne White, mother of Ryan White; and Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours.
The Voices Against the Silence awards are presented by the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, a nonprofit organization providing compassionate and collaborative response to the needs of people infected and at risk of HIV and AIDS. This is accomplished through leadership in prevention, education, supportive services and advocacy.
Judy Price is the development director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.
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