Man of the Hour: Part One

Tue. September 9, 2008 12:00 AM
by Feature Column

The first of September's sensational socials is TPAN's annual Aware Affair, coordinated by Special Events Manager Rhett Lindsay.
By Jason P Freeman

September 9, 2008—-It's 8 p.m., but Rhett Lindsay hasn't left the office yet. The Test Positive Aware Network's (TPAN) annual gala is coming up soon, and, as the organization's Special Events Manager for the last two years, Lindsay's charged with overseeing all the particulars. Event logistics need to be finalized. Donors and sponsors need schmoozing. Decorators need supervision. Entertainers need to know their mark. The gala, dubbed the Aware Affair, is on Saturday and Lindsay has much to do.

"Oh," Lindsay sighs, "I'm going to be here [in the office] for a while."

Spending an entire year facilitating the Affair as well as the TPAN-sponsored Chicago Takes Off and Ride for AIDS Chicago, Lindsay is never short on work. However, with an added point on its agenda, this year's Affair affords him additional responsibility: Founded to empower people living with HIV through peer-led support systems, advocacy and the national publication of Positively Aware Magazine, TPAN is celebrating 21 years of community service ("We're officially legal," Lindsay jokes); to commemorate this milestone, this year's affair will honor 24 individuals and organizations that have supported TPAN over the last two decades. "People and businesses who have donated time, money or their names to help us in achieving our mission," Lindsay explains, "our superheroes and super friends." Hence this year's theme: Superheros.

The gala is being held Saturday, September 13, 2008, at the MCA Warehouse, and will include an awards ceremony during the VIP reception. The main events follows, featuring a coursed buffet, complimentary cocktails, themed rooms like Paradise Island, the Bat Cave and the Loot Room (where the silent auction will be held) and continuous entertainment performed by various companies all night.

"The entertainment is really hot," Lindsay leads.

And though his full-time role at TPAN and his part-time job at Banana Republic leaves him little time for socializing, Lindsay says he's still open to love. "I don't have a particular type," he shares, "but I am partial to dark-haired men."

Passes and propositions for Lindsay can be made at the Aware Affair this Saturday. He'll be the one shaking hands and holding the clipboard.