AIDS walk nets thousands of dollars
BELMONT, N.C. — The House of Mercy’s 25th Anniversary Walk for AIDS was held on April 9 with over 300 participants and fundraising totals have been announced.
At press time, $40,430 was raised to support low-income residents of the House of Mercy who are living with AIDS.
Stan Patterson, president and CEO, welcomed participants and introduced guest speakers Maggie Baucom, House of Mercy’s board chair, and Sister of Mercy Jill Weber, also a member of the board. Both spoke about the impact House of Mercy was made with the help of community support. House of Mercy has been home to 321 men and women living with AIDS. Members of Gaston Family Health Services carried the Walk banner for the three-mile walk.
After the walk, a picnic reception was held with music and dancing on the House of Mercy grounds.
Prizes were awarded to South Charlotte Associates of the Sisters of Mercy for top fundraising team raising $6,464; Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church for second place team raising $6,280; and Team Maggie (Maggie Baucom) for third place team. Scott Cloninger, top individual fundraiser, raised $1,195 and Margaret Mayes was second place individual fundraiser. Best Banner went to the House of Mercy Staff Cares Team.
The Sisters of Mercy founded this AIDS ministry 25 years ago to address the growing AIDS epidemic and need for compassion and care. Fortunately, the development of anti-viral medications has significantly improved the ability of infected persons to live with HIV/AIDS and this has increased the need for housing and care. Funds raised through the walk and other contributions received throughout the year help to defray the costs of care.
Walk sponsors were Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (South Central Community), In Memory of Doug Newton, Wells Fargo, Gilead Science, CaroMont Health, ATCOM Business Telecom Solutions, Rodgers Builders, WSGE 91.7 FM, St. Ann Catholic Church, St. Gabriel Catholic Church, The Tradesmen, RK TShirts, Bank of North Carolina, Beam Electric Company, Cherry Bekaert LLP, Toal Industries and Troy Outdoor.
Visit the organization’s website to make contributions or learn more about the facility.
TOY celebrates silver anniversary
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Time Out Youth Center, 2320-A N. Davidson St., has announced that they are celebrating their 25th anniversary.
The center held a drop-in reception and open house to usher in the festivities on April 10 with punch, cake and tours.
The organization was started by Tonda Taylor, a native Charlottean.
In 1964, she left Charlotte, N.C., when she felt alienated and conflicted with the society in which she was living. New York, N.Y., was more open and tolerant and there she flourished.
Then in 1984, Tonda Taylor was called home to care for her brother Sam who was dying of leukemia. Unfortunately Sam contracted AIDS through a tainted blood transfusion. His father, Dr. Andrew Taylor, also became infected with HIV/AIDS either through a transfusion during heart surgery or through caring for his son. He died at the age of 80 by taking his own life in order to spare his family the burden of his illness. Sam Taylor died six months later.
Tonda Taylor was pained by what the community saw as a gay disease, as well as that of growing up in a conservative environment. Those conditions catapulted her to do something positive for LGBT youth, along with her experience with a teenager who was struggling with her sexual orientation. So in 1990, she and a small group of human services professionals, educators, physicians and clergy met and agreed that young people needed somewhere to turn for assistance. A few months later they formed Time Out Youth. On April 8, 1991, four gay and lesbian youth attended the first weekly discussion group.
Today, it has a plethora of programs and services, as well as a fully-staffed facility where youth can gather and gain support, confidence and make friends. The center offers drop-in times, a computer center, parties, educational opportunities, conferences, events, a prom and so much more. It also serves as an organizing informational hub for gay-straight alliances and advocacy initiatives for youth. Adults can also become engaged in the life of the center thought volunteer opportunities and home hosting those who have nowhere to stay.
More information is available online for both youth and adults, including parents.
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