About 200 people attended AIDS Legal Council of Chicago's (ALCC) 25th anniversary "A Salute to ALCC" benefit at Kirkland and Ellis LLP on May 9.
ALCC supporters, past and present board members, staff, interns, and individual and corporate sponsors gathered to celebrate ALCC's accomplishments, hear remarks by ALCC staffers, nosh on food and beverages provided by Kirkland and Ellis' in-house caterer and enjoy floral arrangements by Marguerite Gardens.
Ricardo Cifuentes, ALCC director of development, provided words of welcome and recognized a number of individuals in attendance as well as the event's sponsors. Following Cifuentes' remarks; Kevin Mork, ALCC director of community relations, shared that May 9, 2013 was designated as ALCC Day by the state of Illinois with a proclamation by Governor Pat Quinn.
Then Justin Hayford, ALCC case manager, spoke about the early days of the ALCC when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was rampant and widespread. Things are very different, Hayford noted, "so now rather than preparing people for a dignified death we are helping people build better lives." Hayford explained that their clients are still on a precipice so the ALCC's job is to stand between their clients and the precipice so they don't fall into the abyss.
A video presentation featuring ALCC staff members speaking about ALCC's work and what it means to them followed Hayford's remarks. Then Jeffrey, one of ALCC's clients, shared his story and the importance that the ALCC plays in his life. "I can't possibly follow that (speech) and fortunately I don't have to, I just get to say thank you (to everyone involved with the ALCC)," said ALCC Executive Director Ann Hilton Fisher.
Raffle drawings included a one night stay at Hotel Allegro and two tickets to Flashdance, a one night stay at Hilton Chicago, two deluxe wine baskets, two tickets to Once, the Musical, two $50 gift cards to Bar 1 Events, $75 gift card to O'Brien's Restaurant, a $25 gift card to Crew and a $25 gift card to Sofo Tap, and a $50 gift card to Taverna 750.
Sponsors for the evening included Kirkland & Ellis, Sidley Austin, Winston & Strawn, McDermott Will & Emery, Jenner & Block, DLA Piper, Mayer Brown, Schiff Hardin, Marshall Gerstein & Borun, Clark Hill, Wintersteen & Dunning, Reed Smith, Sidetrack, Best Gay Chicago, Chicago Pride, The L Stop and Windy City Media Group.
According to its website, "The ALCC exists to preserve, promote and protect the legal rights of men, women and children in the metropolitan Chicago area impacted by HIV. The council provides direct legal services to people in need, educates the public about HIV-related legal issues, and advocates for social policies that ensure fair treatment for all people affected by HIV/AIDS."
See www.aidslegal.com for more information.