Mayor Menino, Jim Clerkin of Kiss108, Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and Other Community Leaders
Last November, the future of the Boston Living Center (BLC) was uncertain. It had been discovered that the organization’s Executive Director had been embezzling funds from the nonprofit leaving it facing the possibility of having to close its doors after 22 years of serving people living with HIV/AIDS. Now, one year after merging with Victory Programs, the Boston Living Center remains a vital, strong and financially stable program preparing for the organization’s most heartfelt tradition, the Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner.
On Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. Victory Programs’ Boston Living Center will host the Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. More than 600 people living with HIV/AIDS and their loved ones will gather for a full Thanksgiving meal. All of the food, decorations and technology have been generously donated by local businesses and nonprofits, making the event free and open to anyone with HIV/AIDS.
“The Boston Living Center’s annual joyous Celebration of Life dinner is one of the most beautiful, spirited and important events in our city of Boston,” says Victory Programs’ President and CEO Jonathan Scott. “Of the near thousand attendees – guests and volunteers – each has in some way endured loss in the history of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and each participates in giving comfort and support. In the true spirit of celebration, this dinner gathering creates a sparkling room of hope and community. There is no better place to be as we begin the holiday season.”
The event will feature entertainment by Lakia Mondale, Michael O’Connor and Woza Moya, and the Boston Gay Men’s Chorus as well as remarks by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Master of Ceremonies, Jim Clerkin of Kiss108 FM. Other local celebrities and community leaders on hand to serve the Thanksgiving meal include WCVB meteorologist David Brown, Ray Magliozzi of NPR’s Car Talk, State Representatives Liz Malia and Carl Sciortino, and State Senator Stan Rosenberg.
The Celebration of Life is Victory Programs’ largest fundraiser, raising more than $100,000 to ensure vital HIV/AIDS programming is preserved.
About the Boston Living Center
The Boston Living Center (BLC), located at 29 Stanhope Street in Boston’s Back Bay, is a nonprofit community and resource center that fosters the wellness of all HIV positive people and responds to the changing needs of the HIV/AIDS community. Through peer leadership and support, the BLC strives to enhance and enrich the lives of its members by providing education, treatment information, and support services with the goal of empowering members to live productive lives and participate within their families and communities. BLC officially merged with Victory Programs on March 1, 2012.
About Victory Programs
Victory Programs, now in its 37th year, is a human services organization with 17 individual programs offering a variety of heath and housing services to people dealing with issues of homelessness, substance abuse, and mental and chronic illnesses. Find more at www.vpi.org.