WHAT: Hundreds of community members are expected to attend the 24th annual Tree of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony hosted by Mama’s Kitchen and sponsored by AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Attendees will enjoy holiday tunes from the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and complimentary refreshments will be provided by Kona Coffee. More than 200 people are expected to attend.
The theme of World AIDS Day 2015 is “Getting to Zero,” which is supported by the United Nations and focuses on raising awareness of HIV and the importance of HIV education. World AIDS Day reminds people that HIV has not gone away and that there are many things still to be done.
WHERE: Village Hillcrest Retail Center, 3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 92103
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, 6:00 p.m. Best time to cover is from 6 to 7 p.m.
COST: The event is free and open to the public.
WHY: The event is San Diego County’s premiere 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 men, women and children affected by AIDS or cancer. This year, Mama’s Kitchen is celebrating 25 years of service to the community. Since the organization’s beginning, 7.5 million meals have been served and tens of thousands of individuals have been helped through their illness. Last year, Mama’s Kitchen delivered 284,925 meals to 394 San Diegans affected by HIV/AIDS.
- 6 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.: Community members purchasing and hanging ornaments, viewing AIDS Quilt panels and enjoying refreshments.
- 6:15 p.m.: Program begins.
- Trees decorated with ornaments that honor 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.
- Patrick Loose, chief of the HIV, STD and Hepatitis Branch of Public Health Services, County of San Diego.
- Dr. Adam Zweig, medical director of AHF San Diego Healthcare Center.
- Radio personality Delana Bennett is the event emcee.
THE FOLLOWING ELECTED OFFICIALS AND DIGNITARIES HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED TO ATTEND AND PARTICIPATE:
- Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer
- Councilmember Todd Gloria
For more information about Tree of Life or to participate in holiday giving opportunities, please call (619) 233-6262 or visit www.mamaskitchen.org.