photos by Jeff Fusco for AIDS Fund
On March 23rd, the 20th Annual Black-Tie GayBINGO raised funds for HIV/AIDS emergency services and awareness efforts in the region. The AIDS Fund event featured bingo with drag queens, cocktails, dinner, entertainment and three special awards. The Favorite Straight Person of the Year award went to Gershman Y Maintenance Supervisor Keith Jenkins. The Founders’ Award was presented to Stephen P. Carlino and Dennis R. Fee, owners of Tavern on Camac & UBar. This year’s new award, the Extra Mile Award, was presented to Mark Braverman for his longtime dedication to AIDS Walk Philly.
AIDS Fund’s monthly GayBINGO event fundraisers are open to anyone who enjoys campy humor, hosted by drag queens known as the BVDs (Bingo Verifying Divas). There is a different them and set of special Bingo games each month. GayBINGO is held once a month on Saturday nights at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 North Broad Street. This event has raised over $4.1 million to date. May 11th is Royal Wedding GayBINGO! June 22nd is Goddesses of GayBINGO!
AIDS Fund also provides education and increasing public awareness of HIV/AIDS issues. To support these efforts, a variety of fundraising and awareness programs are produced throughout the year, including AIDS Walk Philly, GayBINGO, Black-Tie GayBINGO, and Workplace Giving Campaigns. AIDS Fund is also the Philadelphia affiliate of The Names Project, curating panels of The AIDS Memorial Quilt for a local audience. The 33nd Annual AIDS Walk Philly will take place on October 20th, 2019.