Long before settling into my home base here in Rancho Mirage, I realized that Palm Springs Valley residents are some of the most warm and charitable people on earth. There are so many great opportunities in the desert for those who live here or visit—either frequently or even rarely—to share their talent and resources. And this very thing was on prime display last weekend during the Desert AIDS Project’s annual gala fundraiser, The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards.
Let’s face it (and I’m going to be blunt here), charity events for life-threatening illnesses can sometimes be a real downer. But with the strides that have been made in medicine over the years, due in large part the generosity of many, there is hope that we are making progress and that we can change the face of this disease. And so D.A.P.’s awards gala this year chose the theme “A Message of Hope.” This lightened up the evening and gave gala-goers the opportunity to celebrate the advancements in the treatment and fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. It didn’t hurt that the inimitable Joan Rivers hosted the evening with a deft tongue, finding a perfect balance between the seriousness of the event and the fun that we can have when we get together with a passionate group of like-minded friends with a mission. Joan was Joan, and her irreverence was welcomed and embraced. (Now if I could only remember some of her best lines!)
Music provided by Queen Latifah, Wynonna Judd, Megan Mullally, and David Burnham brought down the house. And honors to both local and celebrity advocates such as Peter Gallagher and Matt Bomer reminded us of how far we’ve come, as well as the hard work at hand.
I’m so proud of the work that D.A.P.—as well as the many other charitable groups in the Palm Springs Valley—do. And prouder yet of the many who give, give, and give some more to help others. Thank you.