TPAN’s 20th Celebration Raises $135,000

Mon. October 1, 2007 12:00 AM by News Staff

tpan’s positively aware magazine covers

photo credit //
Chicago, IL - Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN) has been providing HIV/AIDS services for 20 years--making it Chicago's longest standing HIV/AIDS organization. On September 8, TPAN hosted its 20th Anniversary celebration at the MCA Warehouse, which helped the agency raise $135,000.

Donors, friends, guests and volunteers found a different kind of gala from TPAN's past. The celebration included lots of mingling, an open bar, continuous entertainment, three decorated food vignettes, and a historic TPAN exhibition.

"We wanted to create a celebration where our guests could enjoy each other's company in an open atmosphere," said TPAN Special Events Manager Rhett Lindsay. "The space also gave us a blank canvas, which allowed us to be more creative in choosing décor and entertainment for the space."

Community volunteer Robert Eisenberg and TPAN board member Swarup Mehta were co-chairs of the event, which will featured a special exhibit highlighting TPAN's 20-year evolution, including Positively Aware covers dating back to 1990 and a short film by Tobin Del Cuore about the TPAN staff.

"The level of participation from our co-chairs, entertainers, artists, board of directors, sponsors, staff and volunteers, is one to be commended on many levels," said TPAN's Executive Director Rick Bejlovec. "Our 20th Anniversary Celebration resembled the success in our agency and the growth we've achieved in reaching out to people living with HIV locally and nationally. We're very proud of the success this event has brought to our agency as well as our cutting-edge programs, magazine and advocacy."

A variety of entertainment performed throughout the evening, including the Joans' Band; fire-twirlers, Spunn; graffiti and spoken word artists from Columbia College; Chicago's famous belly dancer Mae Phillips; special performance by TPAN's dancers led by April Whitworth and Ken Gasch; Cyon Flare; and jazz vocalist Rose Collela. Local artists Bret Grafton, Matthew Lew and Erik Sosa painted during the event.

At press time, sponsors for the event include: Abbott Virology, Chicago Party Rental, J & L Catering, Halsted's Bar and Grill, Hydrate Chicago, Stoli, Orbitz, CNA Insurance, JPMorgan Chase, Tibotec Therapeutics, EMD Serono, Granite Capital International, Print Services Inc., and Walgreens. Media sponsors for the event are,, Gay Chicago Magazine and Windy City Media Group.