AIDS Services Group Holds Drag Queen Bingo to Raise Money, Awareness for its Programs

By: Ruth Morton Email
By: Ruth Morton Email

November 11, 2013

People in the Charlottesville area had a chance to raise money and awareness for HIV and other testing.

The AIDS/HIV Services Group put on its regular drag bingo Friday night. The event featured bingo, door prizes, and performances by local drag queens and Halloween additions. Attendees and performers wore Halloween costumes.

The goal of the night was to raise money for the group and get the word out that ASG offers free testing for HIV and other diseases. ASG works to deal with obstacles to positive health outcomes for people and families living with, affected by, or at risk for HIV or AIDS

In between bingo games entertainers would talk about ASG's programs, news, future events, education about testing, and try to get the community more involved.

All the money raised went to ASG programs.

"Not only are they having fun, but they are pouring the money right back in to ASG programs. So, it goes right back into individuals that are affected by, living with, or at risk for HIV/AIDS," said Chris Barnett, who performed during the night as "Gwen Kelly."

"Everyone always loves coming out for Drag Bingo. All of the performers have a great time. Everyone that's playing bingo, they have fun. You always hear the excitement in their voices when they yell 'bingo.' And then, we do see inviduals that come in after drag bingo and say, 'hey, I heard about you, this was the first time I heard of ASG. I learned about ASG from Drag Bingo and I'm interested in the cysta program,' or 'I'm interested in HIV testing and I just think that that would be something that could make a difference in my life and I learned about that in drag bingo.' So, we know that this is making a difference."

Drag Bingo takes place on the second Friday of each month. If you'd like to attend or if you'd like to learn more about testing or other ASG servives, visit their website here.

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