To help people living with HIV/AIDS, the Alliance for Positive Health has organized a fundraiser program in the form of a garden party.
The Albany-based organization serves the Twin Counties and the Capital Region to reduce the impact and incidence of people with HIV/AIDS by providing them with services and care management. It includes transportation, medical resources, house keeping and a testing van to help people get checked for the disease.
It held its annual Columbia-Greene Garden Party at the Abeel House in Catskill. It has been held for more than six years by the organization to raise funds.
Bill Faragon, the interim executive director of the organization, said, "For the past few years the fundraiser has grown, and has raised between $60,000 to $70,000. This year, we have over 100 items from many wonderful sponsors, who we want to thank so much, The items are fantastic, and there's something for everyone, so bid high, and bid often."
"We provide services to thousands of individuals living with HIV and AIDS. Currently, there are 3,500 people in New York State that are projected to be undiagnosed with the disease. In this nation, they project 18 percent of the population is, so our job is to get the word out about testing and care," he added.
"A lot of the funding we get is from the state and federal government to provide services for people who have tested HIV-positive. However, it's never enough. Sometimes, people need housing assistance. We may get them into stable housing, and they may not have a bed. We might provide household goods. If you are ill, or have HIV, and don't have a house, you aren't going to be able to take care of yourself and stay healthy. Our job is to help individuals lead a healthy life," said Faragon
He also said that the state is trying to bring the number of people testing positive for HIV/AIDS below 750 by the year 2020. The Alliance for Positive Health board of directors and garden party committee work hard to organize the fundraiser each year.