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818 E Grayson St
San Antonio, TX 78208
P: (210) 225 4715
F: (210) 224 7730
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HIV/STD Testing
333 S. Hackberry St.
San Antonio, TX 78203
P: (210) 225 4715
F: (210) 455 4044
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Latest News

CALVERT FAMILY CONTRIBUTES $30,000 TO FUND SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION’S HOT MEAL PROGRAM

Jan 31, 2017

CALVERT FAMILY CONTRIBUTES $30,000 TO FUND SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION’S HOT MEAL PROGRAM: Gift Honors Longtime Volunteer and Donor Mary Calvert

SAN ANTONIO –The San Antonio AIDS Foundation (SAAF) has received a $30,000 gift to establish a permanent endowment to fund SAAF’s dietary service, Nourishing SAAF, which provides free daily, year-round meals to people living with HIV/AIDS.

The Mary D. Calvert Fund honors the memory of the late Mrs. Calvert – one of SAAF’s earliest volunteers and most generous donors.  The gift was presented by Calvert’s husband, James Spencer Calvert, and their six children: sons James Spencer Calvert Jr., Joseph Dittmar Calvert  and Richard Elmer Rice Calvert;  and daughters Carolyn Calvert Phipps, Elizabeth Calvert Hickman and Lucy Calvert Higginbotham.

Mrs. Calvert, who passed away in June 2013, provided SAAF with significant financial assistance and countless volunteer hours in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the organization was in its infancy and struggling to stay afloat.  “She boldly embraced the cause by investing all her resources to help the San Antonio AIDS Foundation,” said her daughter, Elizabeth Calvert Hickman.  “Her efforts were critical in providing personal compassion and care to those who suffered.  Without her, the foundation’s doors would have closed.”

“We are deeply grateful for this generous donation, which will be used to create a permanent, interest-earning endowment to operate our dietary program here at SAAF,” said CEO Cynthia Nelson.  “As one of our most devoted supporters, Mrs. Calvert helped our agency grow into the largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Bexar County.  We witness her legacy every day in our compassionate and comprehensive work which reaches more than 30,000 people a year.  Her family’s gift to the dietary program will further strengthen that legacy for years to come.”

Nelson said the Nourishing SAAF hot meals program provided 43,000 meals to people living with HIV/AIDS in San Antonio last year. She also said the agency distributes 2,000 packages of groceries a year to needy people living with the disease through a special mobile pantry program in partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank.

“The San Antonio AIDS Foundation is dedicated to a total continuum of care for the people we serve.  One of the most important components of successful HIV/AIDS care is proper nutrition.  The Calvert Family’s gift will help tremendously as we work to sustain and grow this important aspect of our life-saving work,” Nelson said.

A devoted wife, mother and community volunteer in San Antonio, Mary Anita Dittmar Calvert was born on January 31, 1930.  When she passed away in June 2013, the San Antonio Express-News included this in her life tribute:  “She was a 5th generation descendent of German immigrants to New Braunfels and Castroville and was proud to be a 4th generation San Antonian. Her great-grandfather, Ludwig Mahncke, was San Antonio’s first park commissioner.  Other than Col. Brackenridge himself, Mahncke was the person most responsible for the existence and development of Brackenridge Park and was also personally responsible for procuring and planting the large cypress trees that line the River Walk.”  Also in the tribute, one of her three sons described her as “the family dynamo who made things happen with endless energy and creativity.”

Photo of Mary Calvert

ABOUT THE SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION
Founded in 1986, the San Antonio AIDS Foundation commemorates 30 years of service in 2016.  It is the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Bexar County.  Its mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and provide comprehensive services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.  SAAF’s headquarters and clinical services are located at 818 E. Grayson St. and the testing and education offices are at 333 S. Hackberry St.  For more information, visit http://www.SanAntonioAIDS.org or call Ken Slavin, vice president of communications, at 225-4715, ext. 141.

SAAF MOURNS THE PASSING OF FOUNDER ROBERT “PAPA BEAR” EDWARDS

Nov 11, 2016

SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION MOURNS THE PASSING OF FOUNDER “PAPA BEAR” EDWARDS

SAN ANTONIO -  Robert “Papa Bear” Edwards, founder of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, passed away Thursday, November 10.  He died of natural causes after a long illness.

CEO Cynthia Nelson has released the following statement:

“The San Antonio AIDS Foundation is profoundly saddened by the passing of our founder, Robert “Papa Bear” Edwards.  

“He was San Antonio’s first major HIV/AIDS advocate, founding our organization in 1986 when so many people - even doctors and health care professionals - were terrified of the still relatively unknown virus that causes AIDS.  It was a time of fear, panic and desperation for so many - especially in the gay community.  People were sick and dying and had nowhere to turn for help or comfort.  But thanks to Papa Bear, they found a safe and caring place where they were not shunned or turned away. His hospice work started behind his gay bar, Papa Bear’s, on Broadway near Mahnke Park, then grew to a small rental house nearby,  and then eventually to an abandoned nursing home at 818 E. Grayson Street, where we are still headquartered today.

“He not only initiated the first community-based response to the AIDS epidemic in San Antonio, he started the first community-based anonymous HIV testing service.  His compassion knew no bounds and his vision laid the groundwork for what has become the city’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service agency.

“He retired in 1991, but remained a strong advocate for the fight against HIV/AIDS for the rest of his life.  San Antonio owes Papa Bear a huge debt of gratitude for his vision, his tireless work and his dedicated service. And 30 years after its founding, his legacy lives on in the work of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation through our continued mission to prevent the spread of HIV in our community and to offer comprehensive and compassionate service to those who are affected by HIV/AIDS. 

“We offer our sincere condolences to Papa Bear’s family and friends.  As soon as we have information on final arrangements, we will share them with the public.”

ABOUT THE SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION
Founded in 1986, the San Antonio AIDS Foundation commemorates 30 years of service in 2016.  It is the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Bexar County.  Its mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and provide comprehensive services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.  SAAF’s headquarters and residential services are located at 818 E. Grayson St. and the testing and education offices are at 333 S. Hackberry St.  For more information, visit http://www.SanAntonioAIDS.org or call Ken Slavin, vice president of communications, at 225-4715, ext. 141.

Photo of Robert

WEBB PARTY RETURNS TO FIESTA ON APRIL 21, 2017 - Tickets on sale March 24 at The Fiesta Store

Nov 02, 2016


SAN ANTONIO –The San Antonio AIDS Foundation announces that its long-time signature fundraiser, the WEBB Party, will return as an official Fiesta San Antonio® event on Friday, April 21, 2017, 7:30 p.m. to midnight, at the historic Bonham Exchange nightclub, 411 Bonham Street, in downtown San Antonio.  General admission tickets will be $75 presale (beginning March 24 at the Fiesta® Store) and $90 at the door.  VIP and named sponsorship packages with special pricing and incentives also will be available, and organizers are working on the entertainment lineup – all of which will be announced soon.

After a year’s hiatus, WEBB will return to its Fiesta glory in one of the Lone Star State’s most celebrated nightspots, which is directly across the street from the Alamo.

As always, the party will include high-energy dance music, cutting-edge live entertainment, a variety of full-service bars, exotic cuisine tastings - and Fiesta’s most diverse, fun-loving crowd.

Each year, WEBB attracts more than 1,500 guests and raises more than $100,000 for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation’s client services, including free HIV testing, prevention education, clinical care, the hot meals program and more.   It has become a popular ‘brand’ unto itself – with a reputation for being one of the “must-attend” and “must-be-seen-at” events on the first official night of Fiesta.

“We are so excited to share this news,” said Cynthia Nelson, CEO of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation.  “We are equally excited to partner with the iconic Bonham Exchange to bring WEBB back to its colorful, alternative roots in the San Antonio community.  All of us are dedicated to making WEBB an unforgettable extravaganza that will not only raise money for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation, but also raise awareness of the fact that HIV/AIDS remains a serious public health problem in our community and that we must continue to fight the good fight.  WEBB is a perfect way to both educate and entertain.”

Lee Haines, general manager of The Bonham, said he is thrilled to offer his establishment for one of Fiesta’s most high-profile and memorable parties.  “It’s a match made in Heaven,” he said.  “The Bonham has been a supporter of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation and WEBB for more than 20 years and we are proud to be the location for the re-birth of the party!”

WEBB started in the early 1990s when a group of friends decided to throw a spectacular party and make it a fundraiser for the San Antonio AIDS Foundation.  Local legend has it that one of the organizers of that first gathering owned an inspirational calendar that included the Ethiopian proverb, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion.”  The planners were so moved by the saying that they decided to call the party “Web.”  But somehow, the word was misspelled on the first invitation – but never corrected.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

The party has grown substantially over the years and became an official Fiesta event in 2004.
It is now the San Antonio AIDS Foundation’s most visible and important fundraising event of the year.

ABOUT THE BONHAM EXCHANGE
The Bonham Exchange building dates to 1891, which is also the year that Fiesta was founded.  The historic building has had many names and functions over the years, but the iconic club we know today, created by the late developer Arthur “Hap” Veltman, opened in July 1981 and has remained one of the city’s hottest nightspots ever since. 

The 20,000-square-foot building contains two dance floors (including the main one measuring more than 3,000 square feet), multiple bars, a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and a patio – making it one of the largest gay dance clubs in the state.   It attracts a diverse and colorful crowd and has presented countless performances by some of the biggest names in show business, including Ru Paul and Tina Turner, and hosted cast parties for such Broadway productions as “Wicked” and “Mamma Mia.”  Just last weekend, the Bonham’s ballroom was the site of the official Alamo City Comic Con After Party, hosted by “Walking Dead” star Jon Bernthal and attended by a host of national celebrities and local glitterati.

For more information, visit http://www.bonhamexchange.com

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ABOUT THE SAN ANTONIO AIDS FOUNDATION
Founded in 1986, the San Antonio AIDS Foundation commemorates 30 years of service in 2016.  It is the oldest and largest HIV/AIDS service organization in Bexar County.  Its mission is to prevent the spread of HIV and provide comprehensive services to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.  SAAF’s headquarters and residential services are located at 818 E. Grayson St. and the testing and education offices are at 333 S. Hackberry St.  For more information, visit http://www.SanAntonioAIDS.org or call Ken Slavin, vice president of communications, at 225-4715, ext. 141.
 

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