Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

News Briefs:
REAF to expand giving


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The Richmond Ermet AIDS Foundation, long known for its entertainment shows that raise money for HIV/AIDS organizations, has announced that it is changing its name and will expand its giving to community programs targeting hunger and disenfranchised youth.

The nonprofit organization will now be known as the Richmond Ermet Aid Foundation.

According to a news release, RAEF's board members feel that by capitalizing on the organization's 20-year history of successful fundraising through quality events, they could also make a difference by supporting programs that provide food for the needy and programs that support homeless, disadvantaged, and disenfranchised youth.

Ken Henderson, REAF executive director, told the Bay Area Reporter that the organization hopes to raise more money by attracting new people to its events. He also said that public perception that AIDS is over has affected giving by individuals as well as corporate donors.

"We hope this will be more attractive to corporate funders," Henderson said. "A lot are not giving to AIDS causes as much."

Henderson explained that under REAF's new model, donations from its events would now go to a two-way split, instead of a four-way split. For example, the annual Help is On the Way XXI: Hollywood Glam, set for June 26, will raise funds for testing and treatment programs at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's new gay men's health center in the Castro and Meals on Wheels, which provides home delivered meals to seniors and other home-bound individuals.

REAF's holiday show will raise money for Larkin Street Youth Services, which serves homeless and disadvantaged youth, and Aguilas, which provides HIV outreach and prevention services to Latino youth in the Bay Area.

REAF also does special cabaret shows featuring stars of touring Broadway shows; the next one is scheduled for May 18 with the touring cast of The Book of Mormon.

"We hope it will bring more universality to the cause," Henderson said of the change.

He pointed out that many other organizations have broadened their missions in recent years, as a way to increase revenue due to declining donations.

"We're kind of following the trend," he said.

Henderson also said the board wanted to make sure that funds raised stayed local and had the biggest impact.

REAF's founders, the late Barbara Richmond and the late Peggy Ermet, envisioned a world without AIDS when they started the foundation. Both had sons who died of AIDS-related complications.

The nonprofit also launched a new website this week, at


LGBT Social Security town halls

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation will hold two Bay Area town halls for LGBT people so that they can know their rights since the 2013 Windsor decision that threw out a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Both are free and open to the public.

Attendees will learn how they might be eligible for additional monthly Social Security benefits, including spousal, children's, and survivor's benefits.

In Oakland, the meeting takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 at First Congregational Church of Oakland, 2501 Harrison Street.

Speakers will include Grace Kim, regional commissioner, San Francisco region, of the Social Security Administration; Steve Breen, deputy regional commissioner; Web Phillips, senior policy analyst at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare Foundation; Amy Whelan, senior staff attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights; and Brendalynn Goodall, president of the East Bay Stonewall Democratic Club. Moderator will be Peggy Moore, senior adviser to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

To register, contact Karen Hughes at (510) 343-7130 or

In San Jose, the town hall will be held Wednesday, April 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara Street.

Kim and Phillips will also be there, along with Gabrielle Antolovich, board president of the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center; and Daniel Redman, an attorney with Spring and Associates. Wiggsy Sivertson, co-founder of the Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee, will moderate.

Also scheduled to be on hand for brief welcoming remarks will be San Jose Representatives Mike Honda (D) and Zoe Lofgren (D).

To register, contact Fred Carter at (408) 293-3040 or


SF supes adopt LGBT seniors law

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted on Tuesday first-in-the-nation legislation that protects the rights of LGBT seniors living in assisted care settings.

As the Bay Area Reporter has noted, the legislation sets out a number of pro-LGBT policies operators of long-term care facilities in the city must follow. Residents must be allowed to room with the person of their choosing and be addressed by the pronoun and name of their choosing.

Under the measure, such facilities are barred from evicting residents based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. They must also designate an LGBT liaison position and provide training to the staff person in the role.

"It is designed not only to protect our LGBT seniors but to give them the tools to advocate for their needs themselves and for their families to advocate," said gay District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, the lead sponsor of the ordinance.

It is the first piece of legislation to be passed based on the recommendations of a city created LGBT Aging Policy Task Force that completed its work last spring. It passed 9-0 with Supervisors Eric Mar and Norman Yee absent.


New scooter club forms

A new club for LGBT scooter fans has formed and has its first event planned for Easter Sunday.

Scooter Queers Riding Everywhere and More, or SQREAM, was started by Peter Quain. The club is the ninth chapter in the U.S. and the first LGBT scooter club in the Bay Area, he said.

The club plans to hold monthly rides, events, and occasional fundraising.

Its first ride is planned for Sunday, April 5 around Golden Gate Park for the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence's 36th annual Easter party.

To contact the club, email Quain at or check out the Facebook page at


Volunteers still needed for Tessie Easter dinner

Tenderloin Tessie volunteers said this week that 40 volunteers are still needed to help with its annual Easter dinner for those in need.

The dinner takes place Sunday, April 5 from 1 to 4 p.m. at First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary) in San Francisco.

Tenderloin Tessie board president Michael Gagne said that helpers are needed for Saturday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to pick up items from the group's storage facility and pick up groceries (some heavy lifting required).

Then on Easter, volunteers are needed for the following shifts: 9 a.m. to noon, set up and decorate; noon to 4 p.m., help at the dinner and the mandatory meeting around noon; 3 to 6 p.m., help with the last hour of the dinner and tear-down. People can sign up for multiple shifts and all volunteers will get a meal around 2.

Finally, people are needed to take the decorations and other items back to the storage unit Tuesday, April 7 from 9 to 10 a.m.

Interested people can sign up online at under the "Contact Us" tab on the left side of the page. Then scroll down to the "Volunteer" section. People can also call (415) 779-6285.


Tenderloin Stations of the Cross

Temenos Catholic Worker and the Society of Franciscan Workers Inc. will hold a Tenderloin Stations of the Cross from noon to 2 p.m. on Good Friday, April 3.

The procession begins on the Polk Street side of San Francisco City Hall, at McAllister.

For more information, call (415) 305-2124 or email


April Follies coming up

April Follies, the same-sex ballroom dance competition, returns to Oakland Saturday, April 25 as part of the North American Same-Sex Dancesport Championships.

Now in its 13th year, the annual competition and show is the largest and longest-running such event in North America.

All levels will compete during the day, beginning at 10 a.m. Dance styles include standard and international Latin, American smooth and American rhythm. Organizers said that due to high demand, there will also be expanded competition for Argentine tango and country western dances.

The competition concludes with a dance lesson for attendees and new dancers, followed by the A-level finals and dance performances by top-rated couples in the evening. After all that, there will be an open social dance for everyone.

Tickets are $15 (daytime events only), $25 (evening event only), or $35 for the entire day. A community dinner is available for $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


Matthew S. Bajko contributed to this report.




















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