Dance gala hopes to stomp out HIV/AIDS
Bob Stern with wife and former DFL chairman (2005-2006) Cindy Stern of Highland Park. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Dance for Life
200 West Jackson Boulevard, #2200, Chicago. Phone: (312) 922-5812 or see: danceforlifechicago.com
The event: The crème de la crème of Chicago dance professionals came together for a one-night extravaganza to inspire, dazzle and, most of all, to raise awareness of and funds for HIV/AIDS care at the Dance for Life benefit on Aug. 18.
The gala reception welcomed an unprecedented 800 philanthropists to Chicago Hilton’s rouge-colored Grand Ball Room. Immediately following, the performances at the Auditorium Theatre featuring The Joffrey Ballet, Giordano Jazz Dance, Hubbard Street Dance, the River North Chicago Dance Company, Luna Negra Dance Theater and Ron de Jesus Dance were enjoyed by more than 2,000 attendees.
Dance for Life is the Midwest’s largest performance-based HIV/AIDS fundraising event. Over its 21 years of existence, it has raised more than $4 million for support care, education and prevention.
Cause célèbre: First-time DFL producer Anthony Guerrero focused on awareness, as well as the artistry when preparing the megawatt show. “I hope people can take away a wonderful feeling at the end of the night, feeling good and positive knowing that things are being done (but also) understand that HIV/AIDS is still out there and that, unfortunately, it has not gone away yet and we can all do something about it,” said Guerrero.
Having lost many friends to “the plague,” former DFL chairman Cindy Stern has not missed one DFL event since its inception and even chaired it two years in a row, from 2005-2006. “You just feel so helpless, you want to do something. This event celebrates life,” she said.
“There are always ways to get involved. Just reach out to us and let’s see how we can all work together to fight the fight,” urged Guerrero.
Bottom line: Dance for Life raised nearly $400,000 benefitting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, the Dancers’ Fund and the Chicago Women’s AIDS Project. ~.