Body Positive "11th Annual Night for Life" |
By Myra Richman
What an evening! More than 1200 people attended the 11th Annual Night for Life, held Saturday, May 13 at the Phoenician Resort, honoring five individuals and BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona for their continuing support and commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Beginning at 6 p.m. with cocktails and silent auction, dinner and a live auction followed, with entertainment and dancing to the sounds of the LA Groove Academy. Co-emcees were familiar to those of us who watched every episode of Dancing with the Stars--beautiful Charlotte Jorgensen and handsome Jonathan Roberts. Watching them move around the floor was quite a treat.
Night for Life is Body Positive’s single largest fundraiser of the year. This year’s theme was Live, Love, Laugh, Dance --and everyone did. Energy was flowing. The event was perfectly orchestrated by co-chairs Range Shaw and Nancy Silver, whose year-long efforts surely paid off. US Airways was the Honorary Chair.
One of the honorees, Bob Hegyi, has been involved with Body Positive since the idea became a reality in the early 1990s (in someone's living room) and is the first person most people see when they walk in the office door. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Honorees were: Richard Stahl and Clifford Waits, Outstanding Philanthropists; Karen Marton, Outstanding Achievement; Dr. Jonathan Weisbuch, Community Champion; Bob Hegyi, Lifetime Achievement; and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Corporate Leadership
Proceeds from the event, which include silent and live auctions and entertainment, will go toward supporting Body Positive's many first-rate, exciting programs and services.
Hegyi was among the original group of community advocates who gathered in founding Executive Director Kirk Baxter’s living room to literally throw money into a hat to provide the initial funding for what has become Arizona’s largest HIV/AIDS service organization. Today, he answers phones and greets clients and visitors every morning.
Stahl and Waits have provided significant financial support for Body Positive and are among the organization’s strongest advocates. Stahl, who has been involved in the fight against HIV since it began, has chaired and served on many Body Positive event committees. He is a member of the Body Positive Advisory Council.
Marton, is the former co-chair of the Body Positive Board of Directors and was a board member for six years. She remains on the Advisory Council.
Weisbuch, who serves on the Body Positive Advisory Board, was among the community’s most vocal supporters in ensuring ongoing and expanded funding for HIV/AIDS services and programs as Director of the Maricopa County Office of Public Health. He retired in 2005.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona has provided consistent financial and in-kind support for Body Positive events, programs and services and has been represented on the Board of Directors and on individual committees.
"Our work in the community, for individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS as well as our education and outreach efforts to the community at large, cannot be successful without the emotional, volunteer and financial support of our honorees and those who stand alongside them," said Body Positive Executive Director Brian Helander. "The word "no" is just not part of their vocabulary when it comes to Body Positive. We are incredibly grateful for all that they have done and continue to do to help those we reach."
For information about Body Positive, visit www.phoenixbodypositive.org.