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Raise Your Hand 2017 Was A Huge Success!

On Saturday, September 23, hundreds of artists, activists, and volunteers gathered at The Asheville Event Centre to fundraise and friendraise for a worthy cause.
 
The Raise Your Hand Auction & Gala is one of the biggest nights of the year for both WNCAP and Western North Carolina, and this year was no exception. The night was filled with music, laughter, gourmet food and beverages, and of course bidding. Hundreds of pieces of art and antiques, along with several amazing dinners and trips, were sold to the highest bidder, with all proceeds directly benefiting HIV prevention, treatment, and advocacy in our community.
 
 
The evening began with a cocktail hour and a silent auction. Attendees came dressed to the nines ready to scribble down their highest offer for a variety of exquisite items. Local deejays Josh Michael and Ariel Rymer of STAR 104.3 FM hyped up the crowd with descriptions of the items as well as a few fun raffles that raised even more money for HIV/AIDS.
 
 
There were also some great pictures taken at the "Pop Up Photo Booth" by Rose Hecht Creative. Check out the gallery of photos here!
 
 
As the silent auction ended, guests drifted into the cavernous dining room of the Event Centre where they were treated to a gourmet meal by acclaimed Strada Italiano Chef Anthony Cerrato. Throughout dinner, prominent community members addressed the assembly, including the Mayor of Asheville, Esther Manheimer. Raise Your Hand Honorary Chairman David Gantt delivered a moving speech where he celebrated the political courage of WNCAP and early AIDS activists and spoke frankly about the present urgency of HIV advocacy in the current political climate.
 

 
Finally, Andrew Brunk of Brunk Auctions took the stage to conduct a vibrantly exciting Live Auction. Guests from all corners of the room raised their hands to bid on over a dozen high value items. During the auction, Chef Eric Sheffer of Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian stood up and shouted that he would give away two Argentinian Asado five course meals, opening the door for a second major donation to WNCAP. Likewise, Michael Brodnax and Tony Schlarb, donating a two week stay in their stunning Italian villa, announced that they would donate a second two week stay as long as the first donor bid at least $6,000. A generous bidder stepped up to the plate, allowing WNCAP to raise twice the money!
 
 
The generosity of our donors is only matched by the creativity of our artists and the passion of our volunteers. It was a big night for all WNCAP staff and volunteers who participated, and they met the moment perfectly. Thank you so much to everyone who gave their money, time, or art to Raise Your Hand. Your contribution will improve the lives of countless people in our community, and perhaps even save a life.
Pride
WNCAP Participates in Blue Ridge Pride 2017
 
Blue Ridge Pride 2017 is a chance for the whole LGBTQIA community to educate, advocate, and most importantly, celebrate! Beginning on Sunday, September 24 and culminating with a daylong celebration on Saturday, September 30, there will be a huge range of Pride-related events throughout Asheville. Check out the calendar of events here!
 
 
WNCAP is very proud to be a Gold Sponsor of Blue Ridge Pride, and we'll be participating in the festival in a few different ways. First, on Wednesday, September 27, we will be at the Pride 2017 Family Picnic from 3pm-7pm in Weaver Park. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided. We're providing, naturally, the "condom-ints" (and yes, we will really be bringing condoms in addition to the ketchup and mustard). Attendees are encouraged to bring side dishes to eat and musical instruments to play. Be sure to RSVP on the Family Picnic Facebook Page so there will be plenty of food!
 
During the main Pride Festival on Saturday, September 30, WNCAP will have a tent on S. Market Street, smack dab in the middle of the festival. While you're walking around enjoying food, drinks, and entertainment from the wide range of vendors who will be there, stop by and visit us for some HIV prevention and advocacy!
 
Don't forget to like the Blue Ridge Pride Center on Facebook and to share the Facebook event.
Health Care
As Graham-Cassidy Sputters, We Must Remain Vigilant
 
Call it what you will: TrumpCare, WealthCare, Healthcare Repeal - it is still alive, and still very dangerous to the poor and sick in this country.
 
The latest reincarnation of the Republicans' endless legislative quest to undo the Affordable Care Act is known as the Graham-Cassidy bill after Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA). Although this is technically a different piece of legislation than the one that failed in the Senate in July, Graham-Cassidy contains many of the same harmful provisions that marked all of the previous repeal attempts.
 
This wide ranging bill, which would affect about one sixth of the US economy:
  • Repeals 100% of the federal funding used for ACA marketplaces and the Medicaid expansion by 2020.
  • Allows insurance companies to once again discriminate against patients with pre-existing medical conditions, like HIV and Hepatitis. The companies will be able to charge whatever they want for lifesaving medical care.
  • Creates temporary block grants to states that may be used in any way under the healthcare umbrella. These block grants expire in 2026.
  • Places per capita spending caps on Medicaid for the first time in history.
  • Eliminates federal funding for Planned Parenthood for one year.
 
As of today, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), John McCain (R-AZ), and Susan Collins (R-ME), have said they oppose Graham-Cassidy, and Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are leaning no. Every Senate Democrat steadfastly opposes this bill. This combined opposition means Graham-Cassidy will likely fail, but it is not guaranteed. Many of the lawmakers listed above have changed their minds on healthcare at the last minute, and we must not become complacent.
 
September 30 is a crucial deadline for Republican lawmakers because it is the last day that healthcare repeal can be passed under the so-called "reconciliation" method with a simple majority of 50 Senators (with Vice President Mike Pence casting the deciding 51st vote). After that day, healthcare repeal would need 60 votes in the Senate because the Democrats would once again be able to filibuster the legislation.
 
There is already talk of the Republicans resurrecting repeal once again in the near future, again employing the "reconciliation" strategy. 
 
It is time to take action to stand up for patient protections and quality healthcare! Our friends at the Southern AIDS Coalition have made it very easy to contact your local lawmakers and tell them you oppose any attempt to repeal healthcare. Take action now!
 
Serving Our Community
WNCAP to Host Free Health Screening Day on September 29 
It's not always easy to find the time (or the money) to stay informed about the basic state of your health. Luckily, WNCAP is making it easy with a Free Health Screening Day!
 
Come by the WNCAP office from 10am-2pm on Friday, September 29 for FREE health screens like blood pressure, heights & weights, and nutritional information courtesy of WCU Nursing Students. We will also distribute FREE Naloxone (Narcan) from 10am-1pm that day.
Spirit of Giving
WNCAP Seeks Donation of TV, Washer/Dryer for Client
 
It is a well known truth that for people with HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis, "housing is healthcare." At WNCAP, we try to match all our clients with affordable and stable housing.
 
Recently, we were able to secure housing for one of our clients - a great victory! But now he needs our help to fill his house with all the basics needed to build a healthy and happy home. If you are able to provide any of the below items, we could use your help:
 
1. T.V. set
2. Washer
3. Dryer
 
If you can help us out with any of the above items, please email Chris Canada-Smith, come by the WNCAP office at 554 Fairview Rd., or call the main office at (828) 252-7489. Thank you!
Save the Dates
September 27 is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
 
September 27 is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
 
HIV disproportionately affects men who have sex with men (MSM). In fact, globally, MSM are 24 times more likely than the general population to contract the virus.
 
NGMHAAD seeks to raise awareness about the effect of HIV/AIDS on gay and bisexual men, prevention and treatment. Want to plan an event? Check out this guide.
 
Or, you can use this helpful suite of communication tools to raise awareness among your own personal community. Use the hashtag #NGMHAAD to stay social!
September 26 is National Voter Registration Day
 
Every year millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. National Voter Registration Day wants to make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote.
 
On Tuesday September 26, 2017 volunteers and organizations from all over the country will “hit the streets” in a single day of coordinated field, technology and media efforts. National Voter Registration Day seeks to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.


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Western North Carolina AIDS Project  |  554 Fairview Rd.  |  Asheville, NC 28803
http://wncap.org
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