Walk kicks off Leather Week
compiled by Cynthia Laird
The rainbow flag at Castro and Market streets will be temporarily replaced with the leather flag as Leather Week commences with a fundraising walk Sunday, September 16.
The raising of the leather flag at Harvey Milk Plaza takes place at noon. Immediately following, Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt will lead the 21st annual Leatherwalk down Market Street into the South of Market neighborhood, the traditional home of San Francisco's leather community. The walk stops at several bars, including the Powerhouse (1347 Folsom Street), Kok (1225 Folsom Street), and culminates at Beat Box (314 11th Street) with a beer bust run by the Bare Chest Calendar men.
Founded in 1992 by Art Tomaszewski, Leatherwalk raises funds for the AIDS Emergency Fund and Breast Cancer Emergency Fund through pledges and donations collected by walkers. Past Leatherwalks have raised in excess of $25,000 annually for the two organizations, which provide emergency financial assistance to persons with HIV/AIDS or breast cancer, respectively.
"This event is a tremendous outpouring of love from the leather community," Mike Smith, executive director of the two nonprofits, said in a statement. "Their generosity has sustained many people battling HIV or breast cancer for many years."
Pledge and donation sheets can be downloaded at www.leatherwalk.org. The event is free and open to all. Registration takes place at 440 Castro beginning at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Tenderloin health fair
The 17th annual Tenderloin Health, Safety, and Resource Fair will take place Saturday, September 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tenderloin Children's Playground, 570 Ellis Street. There is no cost to attend.
Organizers said that this year, the fair will focus on connecting people to free, available neighborhood and city services. Fair participants will have access to a range of informational resources such as tenant rights, veteran services, and parent support services.
There will also be health screenings and free flu shots. The American Red Cross will provide free earthquake kits, and Curry Senior Center will introduce a health resource guide for elders. The fair is expected to draw over 500 attendees, the first 450 of which will receive a free lunch courtesy of the San Francisco Hilton Hotel.
The fair is sponsored by the North of Market/Tenderloin Community Benefit District, the American Red Cross-Bay Area chapter, and local hospitals and businesses.
SF Pride to hold annual meeting
The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee will hold its annual general meeting on Sunday, September 16 at the Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post Street (at Laguna). Registration opens at 1:30 p.m., the meeting begins at 2.
Pride Committee Executive Director Brendan Behan said that at around 5 p.m. there will be a reception for attendees that will follow the conclusion of meeting business. Voting members will have the opportunity to participate in elections for the board of directors and to select the 2013 Pride theme.
For more information, visit www.sfpride.org/membership.
Tribute for drummer Chris Olson
A memorial for drummer Chris Olson of the Offs will be held Sunday, September 16 at 9 p.m. at On Broadway, 435 Broadway in San Francisco. The Offs were an important punk rock band, said local musician Jon Sugar, who will be performing along with No Alternative and the Offs.
Olson died in July of hepatitis C-related liver cancer.
Admission is $10.
CA Antiviral Foundation to hold reception
The California Antiviral Foundation will hold a fundraising reception Thursday, September 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Delancey Street Foundation, 600 Embarcadero in San Francisco. Tickets are $100.
The Woodside-based nonprofit works to support discovery of a new HIV drug based on natural immunity to AIDS.
Among the speakers at the event will be Dr. Jay Levy, professor of medicine at UCSF and chief medical officer for CAF. There will also be two people with natural resistance to AIDS.
"About 5 percent of all HIV-infected people do not progress to AIDS, even without drug therapy, because of a protein expressed in their blood that naturally shuts down HIV activity," Michael Siani-Rose, a member of the CAF board, said in a statement.
He said that CAF's new video would be shown at the event.
The goal of CAF is to discover a protein that protects against AIDS, translate that protein into an affordable drug, then make sure it reaches all HIV-infected individuals worldwide.
Constance McKee, co-founder and executive director, said the new group is in its start-up phase, with an annual budget of $15,000. Everyone involved is volunteering their time right now, she said.
"Our goal is to raise $5 million for our first technical milestone, which is to isolate the low-abundance protein that is the CD8+ cell anti-HIV factor, or CAF," McKee said in an email.
For more information, visit www.californiaantiviralfoundation.org.
Take part in 'A Day with HIV'
Positively Aware magazine has announced that its annual "A Day with HIV" photo project will take place Friday, September 21.
On that day people everywhere, both HIV-positive and HIV-negative, can share an image of coping or care through the lens of a camera. People can record a special image, a time with friends and family, at work or play, or any moment in the day that helps people better understand how HIV impacts people, loved ones, colleagues, and communities.
Photos need to be submitted by Tuesday, September 25 to the A Day with HIV website (www.adaywithhiv.com). People can follow A Day with HIV's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ADayWithHIV), or Twitter (@A_day_with_HIV) to see updates and selected photos.
Each day across the globe almost 7,000 people will contract HIV, joining an estimated 34.2 million people already living with the disease.
AIDS grove announces scholarships
The National AIDS Memorial Grove has announced the expansion of its Young Leaders Scholarship program, making available $1,000 to $2,500 scholarships to young people.
The purpose of the scholarship is to recognize, support, and encourage the educational efforts of young people committed to active roles of public service and leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Sponsored by UnitedHealthcare, the program will expand the number of scholarships this year and accept applications from both college-bound high school seniors and college undergraduates. Applicants are asked to write an essay describing their leadership goals and experiences related to HIV/AIDS, and encouraged to participate in HIV/AIDS-related community service projects.
"Today's young people have been raised in a world in which AIDS has always existed," noted John Cunningham, executive director of the AIDS grove, in a statement. "Our intention is that these scholarships will help to shape a future leadership that understands the challenges faced by those who came before them."
The scholarships are open to current high school seniors and college undergraduates who have demonstrated an active commitment to fighting AIDS. Applications and proposal statements are due by October 5 and essays must be received by October 22. Awardees will be recognized at a ceremony on December 1, World AIDS Day.