Sing for Hope Reception & World AIDS Day Luncheon 2017

Style Magazine Newswire | 12/5/2017, 9:10 a.m.
Earlier this year, AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. and Avenue 360 Health & Wellness formed a strategic alliance. Both organizations play ...
Ernie Manouse and Marlene McNeese; Photo by Morris Malakoff, The CKP Group

Earlier this year, AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. and Avenue 360 Health & Wellness formed a strategic alliance. Both organizations play a vital role in ending new infections while supporting those who are HIV positive by offering comprehensive care. By combining the human side of HIV care and the medical side of HIV care, the whole person is served. For the first time, these two organizations were the benefitting agencies for the annual World AIDS Day Luncheon and the underwriter event, a Sing for Hope tribute.

On Thursday, Nov. 30, patrons of both organizations attended Sing for Hope, which was founded more than 20 years ago to benefit Bering Omega Community Services (now Avenue 360). Henry Richardson and Monsour Taghdisi hosted this year’s reception, which featured live performances by event founder Camille Zamora along with Liam Bonner and Alicia Gianni.

On Friday, Dec. 1, luncheon chairs Caroline Starry and Jeff Gremillion, with presenting sponsor Chevron, welcomed more than 550 guests to the annual World AIDS Day Luncheon. After a short champagne reception, the sold-out crowd enjoyed remarks from Mayor Sylvester Turner and and a keynote address by Olympic diver and HIV advocate Greg Louganis. Louganis — the first male diver in Olympic history to win consecutive double gold medals in springboard and platform at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics — shared his personal story and his vision for the future.

Dr. Steve Frangos from Chevron presented the Shelby Hodge Vision Award to the Houston Health Department Bureau of HIV/STD and Viral Hepatitis Prevention for the organization’s innovative HIV prevention programs, including molecular HIV surveillance. Bureau Chief Marlene McNeese accepted the award on behalf of the department and participated in a question-and-answer session with Ernie Manouse, Houston Public Media host and producer, about the bureau’s molecular surveillance program.

The World AIDS Day Luncheon and Sing for Hope reception raised more than $160,000. Funds raised will help to provide housing, food, neighborhood outreach, prevention through education and testing, behavioral health, biomedical prevention such as PrEP, dental care, life skills, case management and other supportive services.

Some in attendance at the Sing for Hope Reception were Greg Louganis and Johnny Chaillot; Henry Richardson and Monsour Taghdisi; Troy Brooks; Jessica Rossman; Gordon Bethune; Sverre and Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl; Steven Hand and Jeffrey Bules; Luis Torres and Dernay Coley Torres; Brian McCulloch; Charles Hough; Travis Torrence; Health LaPray; Jeff Gremillion; Caroline Starry; Nicole Barber; Joni Baird; Sarah Walters-Aramburo; and Monica Pope.

Some in attendance at the World AIDS Day Luncheon were Greg Louganis and Johnny Chaillot; Nicole Barber; Joni Baird; Ernie Manouse; Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard; Frank Billingsley and Kevin Gillard; Troy Brooks; Bill Baldwin; Mayor Sylvester Turner; Fady Armanious; Jessica Rossman; Gordon Bethune; Travis Torrence; Kelly Young; Joe Fuentes, Jr.; Sarah McMullen; Stephen Williams; Marlene McNeese; Jeff Gremillion; Caroline Starry


AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc. (AFH), founded in 1982, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that was the first AIDS Service Organization in Texas and remains a national leader in HIV/STD programming. Focusing on preventing new HIV infections, and providing housing and supportive services to those already living with HIV/AIDS, AFH provides care to almost 6,000 men; women and children affected by HIV/AIDS and will educate more than 90,000 people throughout Texas. For more information, please visit

Avenue 360 Health & Wellness, formerly Houston Area Community Services and Bering Omega, offers a holistic solution for those seeking a medical home. Avenue 360 cares for the whole person, whether a patient needs a diagnosis, a prescription for flu medicine, a stable place to live or a partner in wellness. For more information, please visit