Red Tie Affair Biggest Ever

Posted on June 4, 2011 by

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AIDS FUNDRAISER        [ by Gene Campbell]

The biggest crowd ever, turned up to support the AIDS NB Red Tie Affair Fundraiser, held back on Saturday, February 26, at the Crowne Plaza (formerly Lord Beaverbrook Hotel), in downtown Fredericton.  More than 100 people – the largest turnout in the four-year history of the event – turned out to support the cause.

Nick Scott, Executive Director of AIDS NB said, We had an excellent turn-out this year.  The quality of the event was higher than we have ever had – everything from the decor, the entertainment, and the guests.  The guests, he added, had their best experience ever.  They told me that the whole affair was a major improvement over previous years.

What made the event even more special, and appealing to those interested in attending, was the entertainment.  Highlighting the ‘do’, was nationally-renowned comedian, TV and radio host, Steve Patterson, and after his outstanding performance, the evening was made even more outstanding, with the appearance by well-known, local ’80’s performers, PRETTY IN PINK.  Later that evening, guests were in for even more of a treat, when Patterson performed one number with the local rockers.

As far as money raised goes, Scott said  We did make some money, but we would always like to raise more, obviously, but we were in the black.  This year, it gave us the opportunity to show what we were capable of, in hosting an event like this, and we plan on building on that next year.  Although AIDS NB did make money at the event, it was not an increase over last year, but instead, the amount was pretty-much the same.

The Executive Director said, “We brought in a lot of supporters and guests, this year.  Our next fund-raiser will be held in May next year.”  Fans of comedy, and of Patterson, in particular, will be pleased to learn that he is being considered as being brought in again next year.  “We are actually thinking of bringing Steve Patterson back.  I think, as far as what guests want goes, we are going to stick with a comedian, as host.”  Scott, who is in his second year as Executive Director, added that they had booked Patterson almost a year in advance.  His market value has increased considerably.

Scott said that Patterson really felt at home here in the Maritimes, and it was extra-special for him to tell other folks about the experience he had here. The Director said that Patterson tried to appeal to the guests, and get them to take part in the cause, and to become more involved.

“I think I have to say that it was one of the best nights I’ve ever had,” Scott said.  “I was over-whelmed with the job at hand.  I felt the atmosphere couldn’t have been better, and added, we had so much support from our sponsors. It gave us a good time to enjoy ourselves, and to meet some new folks.”

He went on to say that this years Fund-raiser raised our profile in the community. “One thing we really want to do is to get our name out there. We want to get our name out there for people who want, and need, our support.”

Gold Sponsors for the annual fundraiser, included, Picaroon’s traditional Ales; 92.3 Fred. FM; and Ginger Design.  Silver Sponsors, included, C. Jayne Events; Jackson-Triggs; Crowne Plaza: Credit Unions.  Community sponsors included, Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival; snaggit; WAYVES Magazine, out of Halifax; Garrison District Ale House; Optamum, and Discount Car and Truck Rentals. The Silent Auction, which Scott said was very well received, featured such items as, Two Ultimate Passes from the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival; Martini tasting for 6, with appetizers,  from Blue Door; Miller Brittain Hard Cover Book, Salvidore Dali Journal and mug, plus one year’s membership from the Beaverbrook Art Gallery; Six hours of pool in Molson Canadian Corner, at Dooley’s on Queen Street; Chocolate Gift Basket from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory; Gift Certificates from Dolan’s Pub; Shellac Manicure, from the Bamboo Esthetic Studio, and gift certificates from A Pathway Healing.

In other AIDS NB news, Scott announced that from July 5 to August 11, an HIV Positive Artist, will be appearing at The Gallery Connexion, as well as on the street, doing his art-work. “This will be a bit of a fund-raiser, and also, we will be supporting his exhibit, as well as observing our 25th Anniversary,” Scott said.

Nick Scott also took the opportunity to speak about the AIDS Walk later this year, already in the planning stages. There will be two walks again this year, he said. The first will be held in Bathurst on September 17, and the Fredericton Walk is scheduled for September 24. It will, once again, be held at Officers Square in downtown Fredericton. He added that AIDS NB will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in August, followed by the AIDS Walk, then the National AIDS Awareness Week. “We hope to be launching a campaign of some sort that week,”the Director said. Right now through, we are looking to do a day of testing – December 1. As far as living with AIDS in New Brunswick goes, Scott said “It’s hard to say, but we have been looking into it. We believe it could be as high as 600.” He said it was difficult to come up with a figure of people living in this province with AIDS, because many living with the disease, were diagnosed outside of the province.

In closing, the Executive Director said the organization is always looking for volunteers, at all levels.”This year, we are really trying to harness our volunteer power, and use it as effectively, as possible. I am really happy where the Organization has got over the past couple of years. When I think back, we’ve come miles, but, he added, our focus this year, is going to be on education and awareness.”

For those interested in doing some volunteer work for AIDS NB, they can be reached by phoning (506) 459-7518, or E-Mailing  info@AIDSNB.com.  You can always drop into their office, during regular business hours.  It is located at 65 Brunswick Street, in the Victoria Health Centre (formerly the Victoria Public Hospital).

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