By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Party With Impact is the annual fundraising gala for Positive Impact Health Centers. The event celebrates the accomplishments of last year and looks towards the future of HIV care in Atlanta. Peach spoke to Olivia Chelko, Vice President of Development and Communications for Positive Impact Health Centers, about the party and the impact the event has for the non-profit organization.
Tell us about the Party With Impact
As the main fundraiser, the agency shares all the success of the year and also highlights the needs for the upcoming year, including expansion of programs and services and needs of Atlanta.
Tell us about the work of Positive Impact Health Centers
For 27 years, Positive Impact Health Centers has provided medical and behavioral health care and worked tirelessly to stop the transmission of HIV. The organization was formed from the successful 2015 merger of two long-standing AIDS Service Organizations, Positive Impact, and AID Gwinnett. Positive Impact was founded in 1993 by gay men affected by HIV to respond to the mental health care needs of HIV-affected communities. AID Gwinnett was founded in 1990 by parents of people living with HIV in need of medical care. The agency provides services like HIV testing and specialty medical care, STI testing and PrEP, Substance Abuse Treatment and Counseling, Housing Financial Assistance, and many more counseling and supportive services. The non-profit organization serves individuals residing in the 20-county Atlanta community via two locations in Duluth and Decatur.
Positive Impact Health Centers’ mission is to provide client-centered care for the HIV community to have a life worth loving. With the help of grants and individual donations, Positive Impact Health Centers accomplishes a great deal every year. In 2017, medical care was provided to more than 1,600 people, and 6,000 sessions were attended by clients in the counseling and substance abuse treatment programs. Stable housing was provided to over 800 people at-risk for homelessness, and more than 5,800 HIV tests were completed. There are over 300 individuals currently on PrEP, and to date, 842 new patients have been added just this year. Right now, we are adding 94 new patients a month, and we have had over 350 individuals enroll in PrEP this year.
What does an event like the Party With Impact mean to Positive Impact?
This event raises critical money for HIV care and prevention in Atlanta. It is also a time the agency thanks their donors and lets them know about all the work and care made possible this year because of their support.
Tell us about some of the highlights of the evening of the event?
There will be a live body painting demonstration at the vent. The artist, Titus, is also helping the agency with art and redesign of both Center lobby spaces to help promote healing and stigma reduction. The silent auction will feature theatre tickets, signed music memorabilia from Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, Sam Smith, Whitney Houston, paintings by local artists, and much more.
Why is it so important to participate and support this event?
Money from this event goes back to the agency to help fund medical care, housing assistance for patients, Rapid Entry Clinic into HIV treatment (within 72 hours of diagnosis) and fund programs to stop HIV transmission – prevention programs like testing and the agency’s free PrEP Clinic. Atlanta has become the epicenter for new infections in the U.S., and we all need to work together to bring more prevention, testing, early detection, and the biomedical prevention program PrEP into the community.
How do you participate in the event? When and where is it?
The event this year will be on Dec 9th at Summerour Studio in Atlanta. There will be a 3-course dinner provided by Endive, an open bar, a live body painting demonstration by Joseph Titus Davis, and a silent art auction with autographed music memorabilia, paintings, artwork, and theater tickets. The host committee and sponsor reception will be from 5:30-6:30 pm and the main event from 7-9 pm. Main event tickets are $75, and Host Committee (pre-reception and main event) are $100. Get your tickets through our website positiveimpacthealthcenters.org.