|Mark Grim – President/Fundraising Chair|
|Amanda Unger-Parliamentarian||Jeff Oldham – Secretary/ Client Services Co-Chair|
|Ann Sallgren – Treasurer||Tammie Limoges – Board Development|
|Kenny Hulse – Volunteer & Education Chairman|
AIDS Response Effort (ARE) was formed in 1991 by a group of twelve volunteers including local clergy, representatives of the healthcare industry, and concerned citizens to raise awareness and provide support to those living with HIV/AIDS in our local community. In 1993, the organization was approved to administer a federal grant to counter rising health costs. Looking for a community partner, the organization collaborated with Valley Health Systems in 1998 and piloted a Medical Management Clinic, where clients of ARE were able to receive comprehensive case management and medical care, in a comfortable medical setting.
As the epidemic changed from a crisis to a manageable disease, so did the needs of ARE’s clients. As a result, the pilot with Valley Health Systems ended and we began to see a major shift from not only preventing the disease, but also helping those affected manage it on a day-to-day basis. With the introduction of improved medicines and increasing numbers of positive individuals beginning to live longer, healthier lives, ARE and other AIDS service organizations around the country started to see funding from grants taper away. After drastic reductions, remaining funds were reallocated to more urban areas.
With decreasing grant funds and an increasing client base, ARE has the need to look at additional ways of raising funds through donations and internal fundraising events such as Mardi Gras, theater production nights, and ornament sales. These events help to offset expenses that grants do not cover.
Today, with over 120 local clients, all from different walks of life and backgrounds, ARE is still trying to accomplish what the founders set out to do over 21 years ago; promote community health and awareness while assisting individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS and related diseases. It is more important now than ever before that supporters such as you help us keep that dream alive by calling your legislatures, volunteering, or making a tax-deductible donation to ARE. Together we can accomplish more.