Annual Event Raises Record Amount to Fund Amida Care’s Live Your Life Program and Amida Care Fund Grant Awards
December 8 2015
On December 8, benefactors, colleagues, supporters, and sponsors gathered at Amida Care’s midtown office for the 10th annual Live Your Life Celebration and Fundraiser. This year’s event raised a record amount of over $170,000, which will fund Amida Care’s 2016 Live Your Life program and will also help to finance the Amida Care Fund at Stonewall Community Foundation, which grants moneys to NYC community based organizations for innovative HIV prevention work and navigation services. This year, the Amida Care Fund awarded grants to six organizations: BOOM!Health, H.E.A.T., Pride for Youth, Translatina Network, Audre Lorde Project, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which were recognized at the fundraiser.
At Amida Care’s free monthly Live Your Life wellness events, held throughout the five boroughs of New York City, members and their guests learn about ways to get and stay healthy—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Programs like Live Your Life are a critical component of Amida Care’s unique approach to care and wellness with events offering opportunities to learn about nutrition, healthy relationships, art therapy, meditation, yoga, and African and Latin dance. Members consistently express gratitude for the joy and fulfillment they receive from Amida Care’s Live Your Life events.
“The Live Your Life program grew from member feedback that health care needs to be about more than going to the doctor and taking pills. These events are designed to meet the social, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our members while also building life skills. Amida Care thanks our generous donors for helping to make this program possible,” said Doug Wirth, President and CEO of Amida Care.
Since the Live Your Life program’s inception in 2007, one popular Live Your Life program has been the “Artist in You,” in which an art instructor guides members in creating their own pieces of art. Using art as a therapeutic tool to improve mental and emotional well-being, members translate their life stories and experiences into art and, for several members, art has become a new passion in their lives as a result of this experience. Members entered their pieces into Amida Care’s annual member artwork competition for a chance to have their artwork chosen for inclusion in Amida Care’s 2016 wall calendar and to win cash prizes. Winning pieces of art were selected through three rounds of judging by Amida Care’s Member Advisory Council (MAC), who are elected by fellow Amida Care members. MAC members chose entries that best represent life, healing, Amida Care’s mission, and this year’s calendar theme of “Art & Wellness.” The calendar was given to guests at the fundraiser and will be distributed to all members.
The Amida Care Fund at Stonewall Community Foundation was established as part of Amida Care’s Live Your Life program and is focused on supporting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s groundbreaking Blueprint to end the AIDS epidemic in New York State by 2020. Grant recipients are selected based on their outstanding work to address HIV/AIDS in LGBTQ communities throughout New York City. The Fund seeks to support HIV education, prevention, intervention, and treatment programs that engage New Yorkers who are at greater risk of HIV infection—such as young men of color who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women—and those who are HIV-positive but not virally suppressed or receiving necessary access to care.