Triad Health Project hosts fundraising Mardi Gras party for a ‘future free from HIV’
Grab some beads ahead of Fat Tuesday for Triad Health Project’s Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser, Bead Bash on Feb. 22, with ticket (only available in advance) sales ending at midnight on Feb. 20. Anyone ages 15 and up are invited to support Triad Health Project at The Painted Plate in Greensboro at 6 p.m. for the VIP Pre-Bead Bash Cocktail Hour and Silent Auction sneak-peek, followed by general admission at 7 p.m.
A Cajun-style dinner will include Muffaleta Po’ Boy, jambalaya with Andouille sausage, baby shrimp étouffée, Southern-style crudités, and pimento cheese and a cash bar for all (VIP tickets include drinks served during the cocktail hour).
Adriana Adams, Triad Health Project’s new director of philanthropy and community engagement, said that all proceeds raised from this event would go directly toward “compassionate care and support services for people living with HIV in the Triad, and prevention services for those at risk.” She said THP’s platinum sponsor, Replacements, Ltd. is making this event possible by covering the cost of the party just as they did last year along with support from LeBauer Healthcare, Lake Jeanette Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, HR Playbook, and a group of their Red-Ribbon friends plus a few others to be confirmed.
Adams said that although costumes are not required, “those of you bold enough to throw on your beads, boas and other festive attire may enter a contest for a chance to win a prize for the best costume.” She said that Evan Olson would be singing during the cocktail hour, and Jessica Mashburn would DJ the music while Miss Kitty Litter, the Master of Ceremonies, would be directing special performances by Triad drag queens who will sing/lip-sync songs accompanied with dancing, drinks and fun for everyone. The queens plan to raffle off beads again this year with a surprise gift to raise additional proceeds.
Adams said that donations of services and products for both the silent and live auctions would be accepted up until Valentine’s Day, and asked people to “consider making these purchases as gifts you would buy anyway.” The silent auction would include a liquor gift basket and several gift certificates, including Fund-a-Need packages. She said the live auction has higher-ticket items, such as a safari trip. Her favorite item is a painting, donated by her personal friend and artist Gary Higgins, who grew up in Greensboro.
Adams said that this event was created in lieu of the Dining for Friends, as the year-end grand finale “wasn’t getting as much attendance as it used to.” They hope to keep the party going longer with the Mardi Gras theme and drag element “that has grown a lot of fans.”
THP will also be launching a new look designed by Shane Lukas of “A Great Idea” that includes a new logo and website that would go live during the event. Adams said they would also be revealing their new justice, sexual health, and social equity brand via mobile-friendly screens. She stressed that THP “is still the same organization, and they still carry the same heartbeat, with the same mission for our future to be free from HIV.”
As a daughter of an immigrant family from Cuba, Adams knows how important it is for people in the community to help those in need, and she wants to pay it forward. She said that HIV is affecting everyone collectively, and especially now with the added Opioid epidemic and needle-sharing. She said THP’s educators teach our community how to be safe, and they need the funds to build that service more than ever before.
What is so very important, Adams said, is to put THP’s present need out to the community. They have set a goal to raise $75,000 for this event. She said that after serving for 30 years on a shoe-string budget, they now have a $46,000 deficit, and they have begun laying the groundwork to roll out a new fundraising campaign to be revealed during the annual Ron Johnson Red Ribbon Run & Aids Walk returning this fall. Adams said THP needs new people to “step up, get involved, and to really rally around THP this year.” She said it’s not too early to start planning for the 30th anniversary of Dining with Friends, hosted by individuals in their homes or gardens this spring and summer.
Adams shared THP’s updated mission to “promote comprehensive sexual health education, partners in support with our friends and neighbors living with HIV, and advocates for equity in prevention and treatment access.”
“Sometimes people look at the ticket price and see it as expensive, but if you look at how much you spend on dinner and a movie, this money goes back to the core of our community while you get to enjoy great music, a drag show and have lots of fun by spending your money for a good cause,” Adams said.
TERRY RADER is a freelance writer/editorial/content/copy, creative consultant/branding strategist, communications outreach messenger, poet and emerging singer/songwriter.
Wanna go? The Bead Bash, Feb. 22 at 6-11 p.m. Tickets go off sale on Feb. 20. $65, general admission, $100, VIP at The Painted Plate at the Vineyard, 3404 Whitehurst Rd. in Greensboro, https://www.triadhealthproject.com/thebeadbash/, Mar. 21 at 7 p.m., Reading, by queer poet Daniel W.K. Lee at Scuppernong Books, 304 S. Elm St. in Greensboro. Triad Health Project, 801 Summit Ave. in Greensboro, (336) 275-1654. For event info, visit email@example.com.