News

Sled for RED Results
April 2010
View results from the January 2011 event
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Women's Fund Supports DIVAS
December 2010
Teenage girls learn how to make wise decisions
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New Q Center Program
September 2010
Program will help homeless LGBTQ youth and school dropouts
Learn more

 

10th ANNUAL FIRST FROST AIDS WALK/RUN SETS FUNDRAISING RECORD
collageSupporters of AIDS Community Resources raised $43,214 in what turned out to be a record-breaking First Frost AIDS Walk/Run, presented by Empower Federal Credit Union, October 17, 2010 at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park in Watertown. All of the money donated at the First Frost AIDS Walk/Run supports emergency client services and HIV/AIDS Youth Prevention programs like the Teen AIDS Task Force (TATF) and the Youth Safety Project for LGBTQ youth in the North Country.

In its 27 years, AIDS Community Resources has been dedicated to educating to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 

AIDS Community Resources wants to thank our sponsors for their invaluable assistance: Empower Federal Credit Union, Kinney Drugs Foundation, Samaritan Center, Oneida Savings Bank, and Price Chopper.  Many thanks as well to our media sponsors: 7 News, 790 WTNY, Fox 28, Froggy 97, WNER 1410, and Z93.

HOLIDAY ANGEL PROGRAM

Make someone very happy this season.
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AIDS Walk/Run: RAIN CAN’T STOP US!
 
More than a thousand participants and volunteers banded together to raise $177,210 as Empower Federal Credit Union presented the 18th Annual AIDS Walk/Run on Sunday, June 6, 2010 at Beaver lake Nature Center.  (That amount will increase in the days to come.)
“The rain was unbelievable,” said ACR Development Director, Carrie Large.  “I was driving through a torrential downpour on my way to Beaver Lake Nature Center on Sunday morning and had serious doubts about how many people would brave this weather.”  However, the rain cleared a few minutes before the 10:00 a.m. AIDS Walk/Run kickoff and stayed away for the next 90 minutes.  Time enough for participants to complete the 5K AIDS Walk and 10K AIDS Run.  “And the amazing part,” said Ms. Large, “was that the wonderful people who support ACR proved once again that they never let anything get in their way!”
All of the money donated at the AIDS Walk/Run helps provide emergency client services and HIV/AIDS Youth Prevention programs like the Teen AIDS Task Force (TATF) and the Youth Safety Project for LGBTQ youth in the Mohawk Valley.
In its 27 years, AIDS Community Resources has been dedicated to educating to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 
AIDS Community Resources wants to thank our sponsors for their invaluable assistance: Empower Federal Credit Union, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Beacon Federal, Constellation Energy, Wal-mart, CNY Diagnostic Imaging Associates, KeyBank, National Grid, Rural Metro Medical Services, Syracuse Home, and UnitedHealthCare.  Special thanks to our media sponsors: Family Times, Fox 68 WSYT, HOT 107.9, My 43 WNYS, power 106.9, and Syracuse New Times.

AIDS Hike for Life: fundraising up from last year

HikeNoonanHundreds who took part in the 12th Annual AIDS Hike for Life, presented by Empower Federal Credit Union, in Clinton on Sunday, April 25th together raised $40,462 – up $8,000 from last year’s total and an amazing feat in tough economic times. “I’m thrilled and amazed.  Even the weather cooperated with AIDS Community Resources today,” said ACR Development Director, Carrie Large.  Though rain had been forecast the AIDS Hike for Life and the awards ceremony afterwards were high and dry.

Along the 5K trail that snaked through the beautiful Hamilton College campus, runners and walkers read a “Burma Shave” series of information signs. 
Did you know, the signs read, that:

  • 56,300 people are infected with HIV every year in the U.S?
  • Young people 13-29 years of age account for 34% of new HIV infections?
  • Half of those newly infected with HIV are under the age of 24?
  • Half of sexually-active young people will contract an STD by age 25 – and most won’t know it?
  • One in four teenaged girls has an STD?
  • Most young people are infected with HIV through sexual activity? 

In its 27 years, AIDS Community Resources has been dedicated to educating to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. 

All of the $34,004 donated at the AIDS Hike for Life stays in the Mohawk Valley to support emergency client services and HIV/AIDS Youth Prevention programs like the Teen AIDS Task Force and the Youth Safety Project for LGBTQ youth. 

Onondaga County health alert: surge in HIV cases in young men  

Increase of ten newly identified cases of   HIV in Onondaga County among young adults.

  • Primarily involves men who have sex with men (MSM) or men who identify as bisexual.

Over the past four months, there has been an increase in the number of newly identified cases of HIV in men under the age of 25 in Onondaga County.  Officials are now reporting a total of ten newly infected individuals including three teenagers.  All of the men self-identify as being men having sex with men (MSM) or as being bisexual. These newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals disproportionately represent minority populations.

In the course of their investigation the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) determined that the number of cases in 2009 and 2010 in Onondaga and contiguous counties was 22 individuals.  Eleven of the infections were in white males, nine were African American, and two were Hispanic.  The number includes two women. 

State and local health department officials and AIDS Community Resources (ACR) are working together to investigate this outbreak of HIV. No common associations have been established among the cases yet however we will continue to aggressively investigate each case for potential common sources.

The OCHD and its partners will be doing outreach to increase awareness of HIV and the importance of testing.  OCDH is concerned that as information about this situation becomes available, young MSM, who may already feel stigmatized, avoid seeking HIV testing and/or treatment. This may cause a delay in appropriate health care and will increase the risk of HIV transmission to sexual partners.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the OCHD, the NYSDOH, or ACR if your office would like any assistance in providing information or services to individuals whom you feel may be affected by this outbreak. 

For information or to schedule a confidential HIV test, call AIDS Community Resources at 1.888.475.2437.  

Platoon update!!!!

Our Platoon on the march

May 20, 2010~ACR employees and TATF members can stand down!  The ‘Adopt a Platoon’ campaign, which began last fall and was to have lasted a year and a half, is over.  Development Director Carrie Large received this email message from 1LT Dennis Keslar in Iraq:  All the guys are doing great and really appreciate the support. Due to a time of transition we can no longer receive packages. I will keep you informed as much as I can. Again, I would like to thank you for everything.

“We had tremendous support from the community for ‘our’ soldiers.  I can’t thank everybody enough,” said Ms. Large.  Fort Drum said they’d let ACR know when the 32-member 2nd Platoon, A Company, 4-31 Infantry Battalion returns.  “We hope to be there to greet them,” said Ms. Large. 

North Country Valentines and Bears WOW the troops!

Northern Iraq
February 23, 2010  
“Thank you for all the V-Day packages. The guys really appreciated all the cards. The walls of their living spaces are covered in cards. As for the bears, well, rough tough Infantry Soldiers......  they had a great time putting smiles on the faces of little Iraqi children. It helps with the relationship between the locals and the US Forces in the area. The adults see how we treat the children and realize that we are not an occupying Army and that we are here to help them and care for the future of Iraq. 

“As for the guys, I am so sorry for not sending pictures. It consumes a lot of time trying to upload them. I promise you when we get back I will put a photo album together of things we accomplished here in Iraq. 

“Thank you so much again for all the support you and your organization have provided. I know all the small things from the States really boost the guys’ morale.”  Dennis  

AIDS Community Resources "adopts" a platoon

October 7, 2009~AIDS Community Resources is sponsoring a 32-member platoon from the 10th Mountain Division.  ACR staff and Teen AIDS Task Force chapters, and anyone else who wants to help, will send monthly care packages to the 2nd Platoon, A Company, 4-31 Infantry Battalion for the next year to 18 months while they are stationed in Iraq. 

Before deploying, the soldiers met with TATF chapter members at Indian River High School, a school district where many students’ parents are in the army. “For the TATF members to have the opportunity to actually have one-on-one dialogue with the platoon before they deployed was AMAZING!” said TATF educator Angela Foster.  The event gave the members the opportunity to make a personal connection with the soldiers and get the chance to ask what their favorite snack is, what books they want to read, and who their favorite sports team is; and it gave the soldiers a connection to the youth by allowing them to ask about TATF, how and why the members do what they do, and where they want to go with the education that they are receiving through the program. “What the event offered was the chance for soldiers to feel a personal connection to home and the youth involved, a connection to the adult community, and the world at large,” Ms. Foster said.  “We can’t wait to start sending letters and goodies and hope to have the chance to get everyone together again when the platoon returns from Iraq!”

Needed items include:

  • hand sanitizer (small travel size)
  • Ziploc bags
  • magazines
  • phone cards
  • hand held games
  • batteries
  • fans
  • individual packets of powdered Gatorade
  • soups, nuts, or gum.

To help us sponsor a soldier, contact Carrie at 800.475.2430 or clarge@aidscommunityresources.com for more information. 

Q Center receives $25,000 grant from Central New York Community Foundation

December 11, 2009~AIDS Community Resources is pleased to announce that the Central New York Community Foundation has selected the Q Center as one of 18 organizations that will be receiving community grants in Onondaga and Madison Counties.


AIDS Community Resources received $25,000 to support a program and outreach coordinator for the Q Center, a comprehensive youth service center focused on the health and empowerment of LGBTQ youth throughout the CNY.  It provides educational and social events for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, including HIV education and testing, computer literacy classes, counseling, an arts program and tutoring. 

“We were impressed with the way that the Q Center serves a very vulnerable youth population,” said Peter Dunn, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “As part of our due diligence review, we are pleased to note the support that the center has received from other funders, including United Way and the Gifford Foundation.”

While the Q Center offers many programs, because of the social stigma and harassment* LGBTQ youth experience, they often require more intensive services than what can be provided through the Q Center. It is therefore central to our mission that we support other youth serving agencies in becoming LGBTQ culturally competent.  “When LGBTQ youth are in need of services but feel they must hide their LGBTQ identities, or feel they are discriminated against and harassed when their identities are known, those youth do not have the equal and fair access to services they deserve,” said Q Center Director Dr. Elizabethe Payne.

The Central New York Community Foundation connects the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to organizations working to enhance the quality of life of those who live and work in Central New York. The Community Foundation annually makes more than $5 million in grants and provides leadership support in the fields of arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environment, health and human services. Founded in 1927, the Community Foundation strives to inspire philanthropy in Central New York. 

*Further information about LGBTQ youth:  

LGBTQ youth are significantly over-represented in social serviceand treatment facilities.

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 190% more likely to use drugs and alcohol than their heterosexual peers.
  • Lesbian youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to become pregnant than their heterosexual peers.
  • Gay male teens are more than three times as likely to cause pregnancy than their heterosexual peers.
  • LGBTQ youth are at high risk for depression and mental health disorders and are 4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers.
  • 42% of homeless youth are LGBTQ.

AIDS Community Resources urges lawmakers to reject Governor’s proposal; cut ineffective programs, not core funding

October 23, 2009~In testimony submitted today to the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, ACR Executive Director Michael Crinnin wrote, “Governor Paterson and his Division of Budget have proposed harmful, across-the-board cuts that devastate non-profit organizations and destabilize safety-net service providers across the state.  We have already sustained multiple cuts to our core funding, the total elimination of several important community services, and two rounds of layoffs.  There is no fat to trim.”

The actions the governor proposes to mitigate the present financial crisis will only create future crises for healthcare spending.  Reducing the base Community Service Program grant for AIDS Community Resources and other Community Service Programs (CSPs) statewide will greatly inhibit our ability to raise money from private sources that largely fund our youth HIV prevention programs.  Presently, ACR receives funding from Onondaga County, Madison County, three United Way chapters, and multiple foundations and corporations that invest in us because they know we have the administrative infrastructure to apply their money directly to these life saving programs.  “We have offered succinct workable solutions that would cut spending, but leave our core intact,” said Mr. Crinnin.  “Our input has been ignored.” 

Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in youth with smart, targeted, effective prevention programs saves money immediately, and over time, by decreasing future health care costs.

  • Youth 13 to 29 account for 34% of new HIV infections.
  • By 2033, the federal health care system will have spent $34.8 billion for medical treatments alone for those newly infected with HIV in 2009.
  • Life expectancy for HIV+ person: 24.2 years.  Lifetime medical costs: $619,000.  New HIV infections annually: 56,300.  (CDC and Cornell Medical School)

The Governor promised to take a more intelligent approach to budget reduction, but instead makes cuts to vital programs and services in a complete policy vacuum.  These cuts may be expedient, but they are not smart.

New York remains the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. with more infections than any other state and an HIV infection rate that is on the rise.  “The threatened health and safety of New York’s citizens compels me to go on record as adamantly opposed to any further cuts in state funding for AIDS Community Resources and all Community Service Programs – CSPs,” Mr. Crinnin said. 

Strong Support for AIDS Community Resources

June 7, 2009~The 17th Annual AIDS Walk/Run, presented by Empower Federal Credit Union, set a “day of” fundraising record of $187,353.   If this year is like the past, more money will come in over the next few weeks.  “What impressed me most were the 11-hundred people who came out to support us,” said AIDS Community Resources’ Executive Director, Michael Crinnin.  “That’s the key to stopping this disease.  Getting the message out to everybody about staying safe from AIDS.” 
All of the money raised at the AIDS Walk/Run stays in Central New York for emergency client services and for ACR’s extensive youth HIV prevention programs.  “Prevention is more important than ever,” said ACR Development Director Wil Murtaugh.  “The federal government spends $12 billion dollars on AIDS, but only 4% goes to prevention.  We raise the money ourselves to get an important job done.”  
How high will the 2009 AIDS Walk/Run total go?  Last year, the “day of” total was $183,000.  Within weeks, the total grew to more than $201,000.  Keep your fingers crossed!

In the Mohawk Valley…
Attendance and Enthusiasm High at AIDS Hike For Life

Hamilton College April 26,2009 ~ The weather was perfect, attendance was great, and the AIDS Hike For Life raised $35,505 (and climbing).  AIDS Community Resources was thrilled with the total, despite the fact that it was less than a year ago.  “Corporate sponsorships were down because of the economic downturn and many teams had trouble raising as much money as before,” said AIDS Community Resources Development Director Wil Murtaugh.  “That doesn’t diminish what we accomplished at Hamilton College.  Hundreds of people came out to support us – including a first for the AIDS Hike For Life – two teams made up almost exclusively of our clients, Mr. Murtaugh said. 
            
AIDS Community Resources has lost more than $300,000 from state and federal sources in the last year; a 20% reduction from United Way of Greater Utica has put ACR youth programs in danger.  “Programming that keeps young people safe from HIV and other STDs is important work and we have been doing it for years,” said Mr. Murtaugh.  “We will have to go for the gold like never before at the AIDS Walk/Run on June 7th to help make up deficits, but I know our community will come through.”

All of the money raised at the AIDS Hike For Life stays in the Mohawk Valley to finance emergency client needs and programs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV in youth.

ACR honors 27 for service to AIDS cause

October 30, 2008 ~ AIDS Community Resources observed its 25th anniversary at an evening event at Lake Shore Yacht and Country Club in Cicero by honoring 27 individuals and corporations whose contributions have kept ACR services vital and strong. All photographs of the 25th anniversary event are courtesy of James Bass Photography.

Standing with Michael Crinnin, and honored for their services in the North Country: Kristie Fuller, a teacher at Indian River High School, who for the last 18 years has educated her students about HIV. She serves as an unpaid advisor for the Teen AIDS Task Force (TATF) – now known as “Teaching Awareness Through Friends”; Carmen Sweet, a longtime volunteer and fundraiser who has inspired his church, Emmanuel Congregational Church of Watertown, to take up the AIDS cause; and, Ethel Soukey, who has been active in ACR’s cause since her brother, David Swem, died of AIDS in 2002.

In the Mohawk Valley, ACR recognized the educational and fundraising efforts of (from left) Chaleau Valeriano-Evans and Charlene Valeriano who volunteer year-round educating and fundraising. Their team is the top fundraising team in the AIDS Hike for Life. John Leech was recognized for his strong support in helping, through his catering and generosity, to make AIDS Community Resources events successful. Lastly, Diane and Robert Caine, who administer the fund they set up in memory of their son Bradley Clifford Caine. The fund is used to enhance the quality of life for HIV/AIDS clients in the Mohawk Valley. The honorees were photographed while they watched a video presentation about their achievements.

In Central New York two corporations whose contributions have allowed ACR to take fundraising to the next level were selected for special tribute. Empower Federal Credit Union became AIDS Community Resources’ first ever title sponsor in 2006, allowing ACR to do more marketing – like billboards and advertising – to bring attention to special events. ACR fundraising dollars rose significantly after Empower’s contributions. MAC Cosmetics was recognized for local and international help to AIDS Community Resources. From the boots on the ground – the Central New York fundraising team led by Holly Piselli – to the Global AIDS Fund, MAC Cosmetics is a true friend. From left: Holly Piselli of MAC Cosmetics, Olivia Fried, Joan Gentile, Michael Crinnin, Matt Boak and Bill Brunner from Empower.

ACR honored the AIDS Walk/Run Committee which is responsible for raising $1.9 million dollars over the past 16 years! The committee has 17 members (from left): Lisa Johnson, Ed Skellan, Dan Manning, Kathleen Westers, Jim Gaffey, Amanda Foster, Meghan Gaffey, Jeannine Murtaugh, Colleen Clancy, Mike Ducharme, Jessica Bull and Tom Angiolillo. Committee members not pictured: Jessica Badgett, Pat Campbell, Tom Honors, Ray Kyle and Melissa Samons.

First Frost AIDS Walk a Success!

October 19, 2008 ~ The 9th Annual First Frost AIDS Walk/Run, presented by Empower Federal Credit Union raised a record-breaking $44,072 to help pay for AIDS Community Resources’ youth HIV prevention programs in the North Country. Last year the event raised $37,600.

The event was held at the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park in Watertown where hundreds of volunteers and walkers enjoyed a free tour of the zoo, an awards ceremony with prizes, good food, entertainment, music and fun!

All money donated in the First Frost AIDS Walk/Run supports emergency client services and prevention programs like TATF – Teaching Awareness Through Friends - in Northern New York. Formerly known as Teen AIDS Task Force, TATF works with schools and community groups to prevent infections of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in youth. Many TATF chapters participated in the First Frost AIDS Walk/Run. The top two teams in fundraising were Indian River and Clifton-Fine High Schools.

“This was a fantastic day for TATF and for the North Country. With HIV infection rates increasing, and with one in four teenaged girls nationwide being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, it is vital to keep prevention programs strong,” said Wil Murtaugh, ACR’s Director of Special Projects/Development. “The good news is that the North Country always steps up to help their youth stay safe.”

AIDS Community Resources wants to thank our sponsors for their invaluable assistance. In addition to Empower Federal Credit Union, our sponsors are: Data Key Communications, Dealmaker Auto Group, Time Warner Cable, National Grid, Panera Bread, Kinney Drugs Foundation, and Wal-Mart. Our media sponsors are Newswatch 50, Froggy 97, Z93, ESPN, WNER 1410 and 790 WTNY.

100% of the money raised in the First Frost AIDS Walk/Run goes to support AIDS Community Resources’ youth prevention programs and client support services in Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties.

Fact:

30% of teen females used no contraception the first time they had sex.