DIFFA/Dallas may be known for its spectacular spring fundraiser, House of DIFFA. But the grants distribution party may be the nonprofit’s most beloved event of the season, because that’s when DIFFA celebrates — and passes out checks to — its beneficiaries: North Texas AIDS service organizations.
On August 25, supporters gathered at Traffic LA downtown, where DIFFA distributed more than $560,000 to 21 deserving ASOs. That’s a 20 percent increase in funding compared to the previous season. CultureMap was there, video camera in tow, to capture the momentous occasion.
In addition to hearing impassioned speeches from outgoing DIFFA/Dallas board chair 2015-16 Justin Bundick, incoming board chair Chuck Steelman, and executive board member Shayne Robinson, guests learned more about the missions of the following organizations:
- A Sister's Gift
- AIDS Arms
- AIDS Interfaith Network
- AIDS Outreach Center
- AIDS Services of Dallas
- AIDS Walk South Dallas
- Bryan's House
- Children's Medical Center's ARMS Clinic
- Cook Children's Medical Center
- East Texas Cares
- Greg Dollenger Memorial AIDS Fund
- Health Services of North Texas
- JPS Health Network
- Legacy Counseling Center
- Legal Hospice
- Resource Center
- Samaritan House
- Texas Woman's University (HIV Prevention Program)
- Treasured Ladies' Club
- University of North Texas (HIV Prevention Program)
- White Rock Friends
Funds raised via DIFFA/Dallas are used for education, transportation, housing, mental health, and meal programs for those infected with or impacted by HIV/AIDS — especially women, children, and those in low-income situations.
Among those in attendance were 2016 House of DIFFA co-creative director Rhonda Sargent Chambers, AIDS Services of Dallas executive director Don Maison, Cheryl Edwards (A Sister’s Gift), Abigail Erickson (Bryan’s House), David Hearn and Gary Sisto (Greg Dollenger Memorial AIDS Fund), June Evans (Treasured Ladies Club), Auntjuan Wiley (AIDS Walk South Dallas), Tony Lokash (Legal Hospice of Texas), Douglas Shaffer (White Rock Friends), Patrick Ware, Brittanie Buchanan Oleniczak, Simona Beal, Caroline Cradick, Darin Kunz, Scott Kehn, Carol Quist, Jim DiMarino, Sami Abboud, Matt Wilkerson, Carol Hatton, and Angela Auld.
Mark your calendars for October 7, when DIFFA/Dallas kicks off its 2016-17 fundraising season with Burgers & Burgundy: DIFFAchella on Ron Kirk Bridge. That is followed by the Holiday Wreath Collection on November 10 and House of DIFFA on May 6, 2017.
The Dallas chapter of DIFFA, formed in 1984, provides funding to local HIV/AIDS service organizations within our community. DIFFA/Dallas has granted more than $8 million to 25 front-line ASOs in North Texas, providing direct care to those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.