September 10, 2012
The Charlottesville community is pulling together to help HIV and AIDS patients. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes UVa’s Ryan White program is putting on its annual benefit dinner at Orzo's in Charlottesville.
On Monday night dozens of people will fill Orzo Kitchen and Wine Bar in Charlottesville for the annual Ryan White benefit dinner and silent auction.
“I think it brings some awareness to the community of the ongoing issue with infectious disease and we feel that it's important to give back to the community,” said Charles Roumeliotes, Orzo Owner.
The UVa Ryan White clinic offers medical services to patients with HIV and AIDS. Each year it also sends dozens of patients and their families to Camp Holiday Trails in Albemarle County.
“This is some of these patients only vacation. They call it their vacation,” said Pamela Bickley, Coordinator, UVa Ryan White Clinic.
While there, campers can go fishing, play basketball do arts and crafts and more.
“Family camp has helped family members strengthen their relationship between their providers and their family members. They go to camp and they learn in a fun environment. Hey, we can all get along,” said Bickley.
Local pageant queens will also be on hand at the fundraiser to help out. They will be collecting donations which will also help provide free gas cards to help patients with transportation to and from appointments.
“Without gas cards our attendance and no-show status would probably be at 75 percent. They know that if they attend the appointment we will give them gas money to get back home,” said Bickley.
Having a gas card could mean the difference between getting or not getting the care they need.
“With gas prices rising, our budget with our gas cards last year is almost at zero. So, that's why we need to focus on having more money donated,” said Bickley.
That's why organizers are working so hard to fill the seats at Orzo's, and make a difference for as many HIV and AIDS patients as they can with every ticket sold.
The benefit dinner and silent auction will be held at Orzo's in Charlottesville on Monday night. The event kicks off at 5:30pm. Tickets are $20 for children and $40 for adults. They will be available at the door.
Organizers are hoping to raise $15,000.