20th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, February 8, 2014 Desert AIDS Project


PALM SPRINGS, CA, December 20, 2013 – It will be a dual-anniversary when the 20th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards gala comes to the Palm Springs Convention Center to honor those who have been a big part of D.A.P. over its 30 years of service to the communities of the Coachella Valley.

Curt Ringness, immediate past chair of the D.A.P. board of directors, will receive the 30th Anniversary, Board of Director’s – Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of his service to the organization since 2000. Terri Ketover, also a D.A.P. board member, will receive the 100 Women Award, in honor of more than doubling the ranks of the 100 Women annual giving program that benefits women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. As a salute to their many years of support to Desert AIDS Project, the very generous David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard will be honored with the Partners for Life Award.

One or more yet-to-be-identified “Hollywood Heavies” will also be in attendance, to accept a special Arts & Activism Award honoring “AIDS in Cinema” over the last 30 years. “We’ve also got some great entertainment to keep the evening moving along … guaranteeing you’ll leave with a smile on your face and a song in your heart,” said gala co-chair Jim Casey.

“Whether their entertainment tastes run to Broadway musical theatre, dance, or great movies, anyone attending the 20th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards will get a bit of it all,” added Barbara Keller, who has been co-chairing this event with Casey since 2009.

See why Jane Krakowski is one of the triple-threats of entertainment today. If you only know her as an actor-comedienne on TV’s 30 Rock or Ally McBeal, you’re going to find out this lady has some serious singing chops, too!

LaTonya Holmes earned the prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Supporting Actress as “Lorrell” in Dreamgirls and has performed at Sheryl Lee Ralph’s 23rd Annual DIVAS Simply Singing AIDS/HIV Benefit Concert.

Her jazz-pop-gospel blended singing style has taken Nita Whitaker LaFontaine on tour with acclaimed performers like Andrea Bocelli and jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, as well as performance in three musical theater premieres.

Other performers might be green with envy because Eden Espinosa, perhaps most well-known as the green-skinned “Elphaba” in Broadway’s Wicked, has also been selling out her own shows with her powerful, emotionally charged vocals.

Singer-songwriter-composer Tomasina Abate has been rocking stages from Disneyland to Vegas, all the while logging musical theater credits in Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Jekyll & Hyde, and Chicago.

Critically acclaimed for his four-year portrayal of “the Pharaoh” in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Eric Martsolf is perhaps most widely known to TV fans as “Brady Black” on Days of Our Lives.

Those who went to last year’s Steve Chase gala, already know Ray Leeper as the choreographer behind much of what we all see on TV’s So You Think You Can Dance. He’s back again … with 10 of the SYTYCD All-Stars!

The 2014 gala will mark the sixth year of a seven-year commitment that the co-chairs have made. Over those same years, Casey’s company, Integrated Wealth Management, has been fulfilling a $1.5 million pledge as Presenting Sponsor of the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards.

As one of the signature fundraisers for Desert AIDS Project, the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards last year raised more than $1.4 million for client services. Desert AIDS Project serves people living with HIV and AIDS by providing comprehensive support, including medical care, case management, and social services, like food, housing, and counseling. D.A.P. also offers free and confidential HIV testing at a number of locations throughout the communities it serves. To learn more about Desert AIDS Project, please call 760-323-2118, visit www.desertaidsproject.org or find them on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.

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