Tag Archives: AIDS CT

‘Art 4 Aids’ Attracts A Crowd for Fried Fund And ACT

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artaids1“4” some it was a father/daughter night out while “4” others a night to pick up a special piece of art. And “4” others, it was the chance to support AIDS CT at its annual “Art 4 Aids” fundraiser at ArtSpace in Hartford Saturday.

“I don’t believe in the afterlife but it feels good to do something in memory of my brother,” said the visiting former well-known Hartford guy Joel Fried. Fried, who attended with his daughter, Nicole Archambault, were among the first to arrive at the art grab and party which in part, raises funds for the Richard B. Fried/ACT Fund, named in memory of Joel Fried’s late brother.

Also on hand was WTIC 96.5 FM radio personality Gary Craig with daughter Rachel. Craig, also an actor and painter, was one of dozens of artists who donated 12” by 12” canvases that were “grabbed” by ticket holders as part of the fundraising event.

artaids2The sold-out party provided a get-out for some who are new to the Hartford area and they approved.artaids3

“I have an apartment with nothing on the walls,” said Jannie Cillo, who just relocated to Hartford from New York as part of a job move. “Friends brought me here tonight and I love the cause,” she said eyeing the original pieces that included the traditional to the 3-D mixed media pieces including Amy LaBossiere’s contribution called Earthing.” “All I can focus on is what painting I want to grab so I can to start making my place look like a home.”

And in the “we can’t tell you yet” buzz in the room, watch Lifetime’s new docuseries, “Little Women: LA.” Word is there are talks of expanding the reality show eastward and who knows, you may see some CT talent on the spinoff.

For more[party pictures go here.

It’s A Red Carpet Bash for AIDS Ct In Hartford

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oscars16oscars15oscars14The Dolby Theater in Hollywood was not the only place getting some Oscar action Sunday.

From red carpet to paparazzi to champagne, bling and glammed up “selfies” it was a night to remember at Hartford’s Front Street Spotlight Theatres where AIDS Ct hosted its annual Academy Awards party, “Red Carpet Experience.”

It was a special night for a lot of reasons, including the fact that the non-profit that provides support to those afflicted with AIDS/HIV, was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the glitzy fundraiser.

“There were years when it was pretty lean,” recalled decked-out columnist and NPR personality Colin McEnroe, who with Peter Shapiro, co-founded the event in 1994. “But it’s great to have it here tonight because our first few years, it was held at Trinity College and the Oscars were shown oscars11on the theater screen there. “

Spotlight Theatres, with enormous help from Steve Menschell there, set the stage for the gala evening that attracted more than 300 people, including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Malloy’s chief of staff, Mark Ojakian.

“We have come so far when it comes to treatment and AIDS awareness,” said the tuxedo-clad governor who stayed for more than an hour hob-nobbing with VIP guests who sipped champagne and appetizers from some of the city’s best known restaurants. And since Java and WTNH personality Teresa Dufour had the governor sort of trapped on the red carpet, the next question to the elusive Democratic governor was, of course, “So are you running again?”

No specific answer but when pressed whether he would be attending the event again in 2015 asoscars12 the head of the state, Malloy coyly smiled suggesting ‘it could happen.’

Clearly happy over the turnout and the vibe at the place was AIDS Ct co-executive directors John Merz and Paul Botticello, who was attending the party for the first time.

Merz, dressed as Matthew McConaughy “Dallas Buyers Club” character Ron Woodroof, was especially pleased that two of the nominoscars10ees for best picture dealt with the AIDS issue.

“We have been trying to keep AIDs in the spotlight,” said Merz noting it is still an issue and one that was once again brought to the forefront in the story lines in both “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Philomena.” “We are overwhelmed and appreciative of the support we have had over the years.”

For more pictures go here.

Oscar Red Carpet Time In Hartford!

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oscar-trophy-red[1]osc14 (1)When Oscar nominees saunter into the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood for the 86th annual Academy Awards festivities on March 2, they will be greeted with coveted swag bag loot including Chocolatine chocolates, personal training session and Le Petit Cirque aerial lessons.

In Hartford, there will also be some award festivities, and some VIP’ers who will also be scooping up the free loot including gourmet chocolates, yoga lessoscaron and movie tickets at AIDS Ct “Red Carpet Experience Hartford.”

And this year’s bash is a special one.

It’s the 20th anniversary of the event and will include a red carpet welcome by Java and WTNH personality Teresa Dufour, viewing of the Oscar show in the theater and on big screen tvs, food, a silent auction and prizes.

This year’s glamorous Oscar night party, the major fundraiser for the non-profit that provides services and support for those impacted by AIDS/HIV, will be held at Hartford’s Front Street Spotlight Theatres.

DISH Restaurant Group, Uncommon Cupcake, The G Stream, Max Restaurant Group, Front Street Bistro, The Pond House, Half Moon Grille, Nora Cupcakes and Peppercorns Grill are providing food. Cash bar available.

For Oscar Experience ticket information go to www.aids-ct.org or call 1-800-838-3006.

AIDS CT 20th Oscar Night in March

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aids13Peter Shapiro, Greg Morago. John Larson, Scot Haney, Damon Scott and the rest of you, you know who you are! The AIDS CT Oscar party is coming up in March and it’s a special one, a 20th anniversary soiree that you simply must attend.
That was the message from organizers at a reception at Gov. and Mrs. Dannel P. Malloy’s home in Hartford Tuesday for longtime volunteers and supporters who want the 20th anniversary of the popular fundraiser to be its best ever.
“We would love to see some of the people who helped with this from the start and over the years come out for this special year,” said AIDS CT co-executive director John Merz, about the red carpet party that this year will be held on Oscar Night, March 2.

The annual fundraiser, the brainchild of Shapiro and NPR personality and columnist Colin McEnroe, is always held on the night of the Academy Awards broadcast. The evening includes food, a red carpet and viewing of the actual awards ceremonies. Past venues and turnouts have included just a handful of people at places people could barely remember like Pumpkin’s on Pratt Street to the sold-out events at places including DISH Restaurant and the Mark Twain House & Museum.

But this year the committee turned the evening of thanks into one of brainstorming and getting the special plans out there. Not only will this year’s Oscar night Hartford-style be held at Hartford’s Front Street’s Spotlight Theatres (where viewing the show will be from so-very-comfy seats with drink holders!) but there will be a new component, dancing.
“We want to make it a night out,” said AIDS CT development director Wendy Shea Graveley.
For information go to aids-ct.org

Mondo Struts His Stuff At AIDS CT Show

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 mondo1Celebrity designer and Project Runway all-Stars winner Mondo Guerra brought his fashion sense and his commitment to a cause to Hartford Saturday where he served as celebrity judge for the AIDS CT “We Can” version of “Project Runway.”

Guerra, decked out in a self-designed black and white silk suit, was not only interested in judging the creations of 22 area designers who participated in the fundraiser at New Country Motor Cars in Hartford, but also to bring awareness to the AIDS virus.

“I want to use my celebrity as an advocate,” said the very personable and very accommodating Guerra who revealed his HIV-positive status on season eight of “Project Runway” season eight. “I do a lot of fundraisers that are helping to promote awareness and education,” said Guerra who posed for pictures with those at the event. “And I go to high schools and colleges to talk to students, he added.” I think that is so important too.”

But beyond that, it was all about the clothes and Mondo called the show “cute,” adding however that it was one of the best-run fundraising fashion shows he had ever attended.

“I want to see color,” he said as he prepared to judge designs with fellow judges Sage Steele, Colin McEnroe,mondo2 Debbie Wright, Ricky Trendy and Java. “I want to see something a bit avant garde,” said Guerra who besides his own clothing line is now also promoting a new eyeglass frame line as well as serving as an audition judge on Project Runway. “You can never set the bar too high.”

Setting the emcee bar high was the always entertaining Jacques Lamarre who was off duty from the Mark Twain House & Museum. Raising cash during the auction that was part of the evening was master money maker John Motley.

And when it came to the winners, they were clothes Guerra pronounced impressive. Third place winner was Salvatore “Joe” Gianni  while second place went to Nigel Ramsay. First place winner, who won a Mondo-autographed sewing machine, was Jean Anne Boccaccio, who, by the way, had sister Maryanne McLafferty as her model.

For more pictures of the event go here.

Art 4 Aids Welcomes A Sold-Out Crowd

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You could decorate your home and benefit a good cause at ArtSpace Saturday at the annual Art 4 Aids there.

Organized by the AIDS Ct, the annual art grab and party benefits the Richard B. Fried Fund for ACT.

And besides the aesthetic and altruistic benefits, it’s an event that does one more thing, it brings former Hartford community leader Joel Fried, Richard Fried’s brother, back to town.

“I was in the keys the past six months,” said Joel Fried, who established the event four years ago in memory of his brother. Now splitting his time between New York and Florida Fried was clearly pleased to see the many artists and others who turned out for the sold-out party that included food, an art grab and entertainment.

“I don’t believe in an after-life or that my brother is in heaven or any of that,” said Fried. “But this fundraiser is a wonderful way to remember him.”


Best of Everything This Weekend Hartford!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]It’s a weekend of the best Hartford, fine food, fine art, fine causes, anniversary celebrations and  more as sights are set on what to do to get out and enjoy.

Thursday,  Carbone’s in Hartford will hold its first ” Serata di Cibo” dinner from 6 to 9 p.m. benefiting the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. The fundraiser includes Italian hors d’oeuvres, stations serving pasta, seafood, grilled items,  desserts, all with selected wines and boutique beers. Tickets are $125 a person. Information: carbonesct.comcarbones

Over in Bloomfield on Thursday , Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation will hold its Donor Recognition Evening beginning at 6 p.m. at its facility at 103 Vision Way.  Among the honored guests will be former Gov.  Jodi Rell, Fidelco client Ed Bordley, who works for the U.S. Marshals Service and Navy Lt. Brad Snyder, who was blinded while serving in Afghanistan and went on to win two gold and a silver medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.  Information: fidelco.org

Want to know who is the best when it comes to stores, restaurants, services and such? Head over to the Society Room on Pratt Street in Hartford Friday for Hartford Magazine’s “Best of ” party beginning at 7 p.m. Winners will be celebrated at the event that also marks the 10th anniversary of the magazine. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $65.00

On Saturday, there are lots of choices.

Artartgrab2Space in Hartford will be the place for  the “Art 4 Aids”  fundraiser, benefiting The Richard B. Fried Fund for ACT. The evening includes an art grab, food, music and wine. General admission tickets are $50. Information:  aids-ct.org

It will be a very colorful evening for CPTV as it parlays its famed  purple dinosaur, a black tie and  a red carpet into a golden celebration at the Hartford Marriott Downtown Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. 

The 50th anniversary party includes red carpet interviews, and will be hosted by PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. Honorary chairs are Gov. Dannel P Malloy and Cathy CPTV50th-Anniversary-logo-color[1]Malloy.

Also on Saturday at the Connecticut Convention Center, Eastern CT Cancer Institute will hold it 2013 “Healium Ball,”  a Parisian-themed black tie fundraiser  that will include dinner dancing and entertainment. It benefits the new John A. DeQuattro Cancer Center, and Meg Berté Owen Survivorship Fund. Information: echn.org

Visit some of CT’s best museums, attractions and historical sites including  Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s  house in Hartford Saturday as part of “Connecticut Open House Day.”

The GOpenHouse200[1]overnor’s Residence at 990 Prospect Ave. will be among the destinations participating in the annual  event. The residence will be open to the public for tours from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. 

“Connecticut Open House Day provides a great opportunity for residents and tourists alike to take advantage of the fantastic attractions we have in the state,” Governor Malloy said.  “We have nearly 200 destinations located all throughout the state participating this year such as museums, galleries, theaters, vineyards, shops and historic properties.”

  Go to  CTvisit.com to view the list of participants and special incentives being offered as part of Saturday’s open house.


OscarExperience A CT Bash

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oscar1oscar2There were colored tights (think makeup artist Julie Dartnell) and kilts ( think “Brave” director Mark Andrews) and it wasn’t even the red carpet at the Kodak Theater. It was the one at the Mark Twain House & Museum!

Yep, when it came to fashion Sunday night, Hartford’s OscarExperience party was about as near to the real thing as Connecticut could get Hollywood.

Sunday’s bash, hosted for the first time by the new, merged AIDS CT organization, was the state’s only Oscar sanctioned Academy Award party. And it had it all, lights, action, and a welcoming red carpet… with a good dose of swag, gossip, and good old Hollywood glam thrown in for good measure.

“This is too fun,” said “after 5” clad Marilee James, who won tickets to the event in a silent auction at another non-profit fundraiser several months ago.

“There was just something fun about pulling out a gown and spending some extra time getting your hair and makeup ready,” said the 29-year-old, ice blue glitter-gowned New Haven student who came with girlfriends. “I didn’t see any of the Oscar movies nominated and really don’t care who wins,” she said as she prepared for her sashay down the red carpet. “I just want to have some fun.”

for more pictures go here:

And fun it was with some of the fashion closely mimicking what was being worn on stage a couple of thousand miles away. Hartford fashion plate Jennifer DeBella rocked brightly colored tights with her evening wear as did Dartnell when she picked up her Oscar early in that awards show. West Hartford salon owner and artist Rick Bach, dressed in a lilt, must have unknowingly channeled some award-winning Andrews, who also showed up on the other coast dressed in similar wear.

Swag anyone? While the swag bags at the Oscars were valued at a cool $48,000 each, AIDS CT put together some pretty sweet freebies that for some lucky recipients included a key to a Mercedes Benz for a weekend.

While pastels and brights ruled the West coast red carpet, over here on the East Coast the trends were tieless, vintage or sequins.

Among those decked out in sequins was Java’s red carpet co-hostess, WTNH traffic reporter Teresa LaBarbera in slinky gold sequins.

And in between interviewing a red carpet of eclectic guests, she had time to buzz about her upcoming nuptials to fiancée Brandon Dufour.

“We’re going to take the chance and have our wedding on New Year’s Eve,” explained LaBarbera. After the church ceremony, the black and white themed party will move to the Palace Theater. Her one wish…no bad weather that night.

Among the tieless chaps was AIDS CT executive director John Merz, sporting a tux with a Lauren striped dress shirt.

“It’s a new style for me,” he explained not long before the guests started arriving and many other men were sporting the same kind of look.

And then there were those who took advantage of the “dress up in a costume” option for the evening.

Among them, Hartford resident Maggie Clapis, a professional New York City costume designer who spent 70 hours one Marie Antoinette costume.

“I know there is no Marie Antoinette movie but I wanted to do something grand,” she explained, twirling in her voluminous pink moire satin corseted gown and powdered wig. “This just seemed like the kind of occasion to wear something like this.”

CARC and AIDS Project Hartford Merge, Now AIDS CT

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actJava didn’t notice there was something a bit different about the press release for CT AIDS Resource Coalition’s (CARC) annual Oscar night fundraiser.

There is no more CARC after another look at the info.  And apparently  there is no more AIDS Project Hartford.

The two AIDS resource non-profit agencies quietly merged three weeks ago, with the intent of being stronger and more diverse together. The new name of the merged agencies is AIDS CT.

“It isn’t about money but what we can accomplish,” said former CARC executive director John Merz, who is now co-executive director with former Hartford Project AIDS executive director Paul Botticello Jr. “CARC was the only one of four state AIDS agencies from several years that was still in existence and I expect that in the future you will see AIDS CT merging with other agencies.”

Services Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition (CARC) and its statewide coalition of organizations are known for include assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.  AIDS Project Hartford (APH) is a  non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of people impacted by HIV/AIDS.

Merz said the two staffs have merged and both are still located in the same two offices the separate organizations rent at 110 Bartholomew Ave. in Hartford.

“We have been working on the merge for the past three years,” said Merz who called it an “open secret.”

Noting that non-profits continue to wrestle with the challenge of reduced funding and the annual angst of not knowing what funding for a new year will be, Merz said the merge means a more comprehensive non-profit that blends the best of two AIDS-related resources.

oscar[1]_optAnd as far as the annual Oscar night gala fundraiser,  this year called “Oscar Experience 2013,”  the must-go soiree to  be held Feb. 24 at the Mark Twain House & Museum?

“The party is one and will continue to be ,” said Merz.