March 2, 2007
SAVE THE DATE!
Towns is already smiling about the April reception
Two days before this year's Keith D. Cylar Awardees actually receive their awards at a gala reception in New York City, they'll be in Washington, D.C., schmoozing and supping on hors d'oeuvres and refreshments at an open-to-the-public reception hosted by Congressmen "Ed" Towns. The reception takes place on Tuesday, April 10, from 5 pm to 7 pm in Room B354 at the Rayburn House Office Building, Independence Ave. & S. Capitol St., SW. While in D.C., the awardees (see list below) will also be meeting with legislators and familiarizing them with their pioneering AIDS work.
Towns represents the congressional district of the Housing Works headquarters in downtown Brooklyn. He has been a consistent ally of the organization and people living with AIDS as a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Keith Cylar knew the congressman personally and was close to AIDS-champion Brenda Pillors, Towns' former lead health staffer, who passed away in 2005.
"The Housing Works community is thrilled that Congressman Towns is cosponsoring this event to recognize this year's Cylar awardees. Keith would surely have a sly smile on his face at the thought of a reception on Capitol Hill in which a sitting congressman honors a fierce group of local, national, and global AIDS activists," says Housing Works Director of Development Robert Cordero.
$25,000 in grants
This year's Cylar Awards were announced on Feb. 12. The awards are given to activists who have shown outstanding commitment to fighting AIDS stigma and discrimination (for complete info on the awards, visit www.housingworks.org/awards. Three of the four awards come with grants totaling $25,000 from the Keith D. Cylar AIDS Activist Fund, a permanent endowment established to support advocacy and activism by people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad. The Fund provides crucial training and support to people with HIV/AIDS who wish to be effective advocates and get fully involved in policy- and decision-making. Now in its third year, the Fund has raised $1,526,600 in support of its goals.
This year's awardees are Violeta Ross Quiroga, a Bolivian HIV-positive activist who broke her country's silence on AIDS and the rights of women; Michael Rajner, a key player in the formation of the national coalition Campaign to End AIDS; Mark Hayes, a longtime Housing Works lobbyist, who has helped secure historic victories for people with HIV; and Deborah Small, the executive director of the drug-policy reform non-profit she formed, called Break the Chains.
The New York City awards and benefit gala will take place at 6:30 pm at the Prince George Ballroom on 15 East 27 th Street. To purchase tickets, visit www.housingworks.org/awards.