MEDIA ADVISORY: 26th Annual Tree of Life World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil Set for Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 at Village Hillcrest

MEDIA ADVISORY: 26th Annual Tree of Life World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil Set for Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 at Village Hillcrest
December, 2017 Client News

WHAT: Hundreds of community members are expected to attend the 26th annual Tree of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony hosted by Mama’s Kitchen and sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the Gay & Lesbian Fund for San Diego. Attendees will enjoy holiday tunes from the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and complimentary refreshments will be served. More than 300 people are expected to attend.

The theme of World AIDS Day 2017 is “Lets End It,” which speaks to ending isolation, ending stigma and ending HIV transmission. The annual remembrance day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection, and honoring those who have been lost from the disease. As of December 2015, over 18,000 people in San Diego County were living with HIV/AIDS. Each year, approximately 500 individuals diagnosed with HIV (County of San Diego).

WHERE: Village Hillcrest Retail Center, 3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 92103

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, 6 p.m.
Best time to cover is from 6 to 7 p.m.
Visuals and interviews will be available as early as 4:30 p.m.

COST: The event is FREE and open to the public.

WHY: The event is San Diego County’s premier event to commemorate World AIDS Day and honors those affected by AIDS and recognizes ongoing leadership efforts made to end the worldwide epidemic. It is also a fundraiser for Mama’s Kitchen, San Diego’s only county-wide meal delivery service for hundreds of women, men and children affected by AIDS or cancer. During the past 27 years, Mama’s Kitchen has served over eight million meals and has never turned away a client who qualified for our services. Our commitment to our clients remains unchanged and in May 2017 Mama’s Kitchen expanded its mission to serve San Diegans affected by HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses. Mama’s Kitchen currently provides delivered meals, pantry services and nutrition education services to over 1,200 women, men and children in San Diego County annually.


  • 6 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.: Community members purchasing and hanging ornaments, viewing AIDS Quilt panels and enjoying refreshments.
  • 6:20 p.m.: Program begins.
  • Trees decorated with ornaments honoring those who have been affected by AIDS. Ornament sales benefit Mama’s Kitchen. Trees are on display throughout the month of December.
  • Hundreds of candles lit throughout the event to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS.
  • Attendees bringing non-perishable food donations for the Mama’s Pantry program.
  • Holiday tunes provided by members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego.
  • AIDS quilts will be displayed at the event.
  • Alberto Cortés, executive director, Mama’s Kitchen – he is fluent in both English and Spanish.
  • Representative from the County of San Diego.
  • Dr. Adam Zweig, medical director of AHF San Diego Healthcare Center and Mama’s Kitchen Board Member.
  • Radio personality Delana Bennett is the event emcee.


  • Congressman Scott Peters
  • State Senator Toni Atkins
  • Assemblymember Todd Gloria
  • Supervisor Greg Cox
  • Supervisor Ron Roberts
  • Councilmember Barbara Bry
  • Councilmember Chris Ward

For more information about Tree of Life or to participate in holiday giving opportunities, please call 619- 233-6262 or visit