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AIDS Foundation Houston Turns World AIDS Day Into a Real Community Affair — Compelling Fireside Chat Led by a Media Legend Powers Things

See Who Won The Shelby Hodge Vision Award

BY // 12.12.22
photography Morris Malakoff

What: AIDS Foundation Houston annual World AIDS Day Luncheon

Where: The Ballroom at Bayou Place

PC Moment: The compelling fireside chat with Michael B. Mizwa, director of Global Health at Texas Children’s Hospital and CEO of Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, led by Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse earned the AIDS fighter a standing ovation from the gathering of more than 400. Mizwa was recipient of the Shelby Hodge Vision Award. He was honored for his years of service within the AIDS service community, which included his years on staff at AIDS Foundation Houston.

The award was just the first of honors for Mizwa on this meaningful day. Texas Children’s Hospital executive vice president Dan DiPrisco presented a $40,000 gift to AIDS Foundation Houston in Mizwa’s honor, which was matched with a gift of $40,000 from H-E-B, presented by the grocer’s senior director of public affairs Lisa Helfman. Pharmaceutical giant Abbot pitched in with a $15,000 donation, Next up, Bristol Myers Squibb gifted $10,000. And in the end, a generous Chevron chipped in an additional $5,000 on top of the oil company’s presenting sponsorship.

With these gifts in honor of Mizwa, the total raised from the luncheon, AFH‘s largest fundraising event of the year, was more than $285,000. Funds are employed to mission to prevent new transmissions and provide housing and supportive services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the nonprofit serving the greater Houston community. It was the first AIDS service organization in Texas.

Sara Speer Selber, Michael B. Mizwa, John Huckaby at the AIDS Foundation Houston World AIDS Day luncheon. (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
Sara Speer Selber, Michael B. Mizwa, John Huckaby at the AIDS Foundation Houston World AIDS Day luncheon. (Photo by Morris Malakoff)

The luncheon was chaired by Sara Speer Selber, who served a president and CEO of AIDS Foundation Houston from 1994 to 2001, and LaRence B. Snowden, assistant vice president for development at Texas Southern University and chairman of the Houston Housing Authority.

The luncheon included a performance by countertenor John Holiday, a Houston-area native and contestant on season 19 of The Voice.

Two special guests were US Public Health Service Commander Luz Rivera, regional director for ending the HIV epidemic, and Commander Rodrigo Chavez, deputy regional director for ending the HIV Epidemic.

PC Seen: John Huckaby, Kyle Pierce, June Deadrick, Emily Freedman, Alvin Byrd, Joseph Earle, Wendell Seymour, Ali Bamberger, Erica Akerman, Rashun Cowan, Errick Statum, Ariel Becker, Kathy Fenninger, Christopher Barry, Mary Mizwa,  Joe Kaye, Lyndsey Linnen, and Chris Lewis.

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