Honorees at RED Brunch LIVE

On Saturday, December 5, 2020, in commemoration of World AIDS Day, the Aunt Rita’s Foundation will present their signature event RED Brunch, an annual fundraiser at which Aunt Rita’s reports on their successes of the year, distributes funds to their thirteen member agencies, raises funds to support their initiatives and HIV education, and honor individuals and organizations that continue to provide essential services and programs for the HIV/AIDS community in the greater Phoenix, Arizona, area. Their goal is “to effectively end HIV in our community by 2030, in line with the UNAIDS Fast Track Cities Initiative.”

Peter Rodriguez, Peggy Williamson and Eric Morales (left to right) with their Community Leader Heart Awards from Aunt Rita’s Foundation. Photo courtesy Aunt Rita’s

This year’s RED Brunch gala, hosted by media personality Danielle Williams and featuring four-time Olympic gold-medalist Greg Louganis [A&U, September 2016], will honor long-time activist Peter Rodriguez [A&U, March 2017]. Peter’s long career as an activist includes serving as Vice Chairman of the Joshua Tree Feeding Program, Event Manager at Aunt Rita’s, and Founder and Co-Chair of the Phoenix AIDS Candlelight Vigil steering committee. Diagnosed in 1982 with “GRID,” as it was then called, Peter is himself a long-term HIV/AIDS survivor.

Recognizing that “HIV care, education, and awareness would not exist without individuals who have lived through the epidemic and have helped to shape our HIV community,” this year’s RED Brunch is dedicated to fundraising in support of Aunt Rita’s HIV and Aging initiatives to enhance services to older persons living with HIV. These programs and services are critically important since more than 50% of persons living with HIV are over the age of 50. Aunt Rita’s programs “will ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect from aging service providers.”

Peter Rodriguez. Photo courtesy Aunt Rita’s

Upon hearing the news of his honor, Peter told A&U, “As a long-term survivor, I am honored and humbled by this acknowledgment of all my years serving the HIV community in Phoenix. I will accept this award on behalf of all the community leaders past and present who work passionately day in and day out ensuring that the HIV/AIDS community here in Phoenix is properly served, as we continue the fight to end AIDS and end the stigma.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, RED Brunch has morphed into a live television show. All tickets provide exclusive access to RED Brunch Live as well as brunch and mimosas provided by The Vig, serving upscale family-style meals. Individual tickets are $100; you can host a party of five for $500 or a party of ten for $1,000.

For more information and to order tickets, please log on to https://redbrunch.funraise.org/.

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.