It’s always to me a little bit of a question for me, do we celebrate 10 years of an organization like [Taste for Life], do we celebrate 20 years of an organization like [Bruce House]? We would really rather not have to have an organization like this. We would really rather not have organizations like Snowy Owl. But we need them.
What we can celebrate is the dedication and the vision if the people who created them, the volunteers who work tirelessly to make events like this and organizations like that tick. Most of the people who get involved with organizations like this, as patrons, as people who go out for dinner on Apr 23, they understand that they are part of a solution, part of a community.
Having dinner is a fundamentally communal activity. You sit down with friends, you celebrate your life. You share stories of what happened that day, that week, the ups and the downs. You’re there for each other.
In the same way, Taste for Life brings that on a larger scale. We’re showing, each of us, that we are caring for a larger community. We are members of a society that is interconnected. And we understand the role each of us has as individuals to make the world a better place.
There’s so much earnestness in wanting to make the world a better place, so it’s really nice to see something fun, to see an event like this where people come together and contribute without having to feel like it’s a heavy or a moral duty. This is a chance to get together with friends and celebrate life, and celebrate hope and celebrate togetherness and community. And that’s one of the real keys to the success of this event.
HIV/AIDS has been around for a long time. And I hate to say that in the groups that I work with – young people of various ages across the country – unfortunately, the things that so many of us think are obvious about HIV/AIDS, the messages aren’t necessarily getting out to our young people. There’s still a lot of work to do on making them understand that first and foremost there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, no vaccine, no remedy for it.
And the consequences of unsafe behavior will last the rest of your life. And getting our message out to our young people, that there are ways to be safe, that there is a responsibility they have to keep themselves and their families safe, keep their families from suffering heartbreak and loss. It’s a message that we do need to push.
So it’s more than about getting together to help each other, it’s spreading an important message, that HIV/AIDS is still out there and that it touches everyone, touches every family potentially. And the more we can do to promote greater awareness and help members of our community through this debilitating illness is the minimum, we all agree.