Telluride AIDS Benefit: Beneficiary CHIP Participates In Auction

Unknown The Telluride AIDS Benefit has grown every year since its grassrootsy beginning in 1994. And since that first year, the Western Colorado AIDS Project has been the event's primary recipient, because the Benefit's muse, Robert Presley, determined to keep WestCAP, his medical provider in time of need, healthy. TAB's generosity, however, extends way beyond WestCAP all the way to Africa, with stops along the way on the Front Range, home to the Denver Children's Hospital Immunodeficiency Program or CHIP.

CHIP began providing specialized care for HIV+ children in the Rocky Mountain region in 1991. CHIP remains the only entity in the region providing comprehensive, coordinated, family-centered services to infants, children, youth (13-24), pregnant women, and parents of HIV-infected children.

1__#$!@%!#__unknown As a National Institutes of Health-funded Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group (PACTG) site, CHIP has participated in national and local research trials for pediatric HIV infection since 1992 and now ranks among the top performers in the network. As a model program, CHIP frequently welcomes visiting professionals from agencies and other institutions around the world.

CHIP’s staff includes highly trained, committed professionals with years of experience in delivering high quality HIV care and prevention, more than half of whom have been providing HIV care for over 10 years.  Medical providers include physicians certified in pediatric and internal medicine infectious diseases, adolescent and pediatric general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and nurse practitioners with expertise in family practice, pediatrics, and midwifery. CHIP has several licensed clinical social workers with particular expertise in serving at-risk youth, families, and pregnant women

Annually CHIP families gather for CHIP Art Day, one of several get-togethers the nonprofit puts together to promote bonding in a safe, relaxed environment. At Art Day, participants work together to create art for the Telluride AIDS Benefit's annual auction. Expressing themselves enhances self esteem.

3__#$!@%!#__unknown "January 30 was the day this year. Some of the artists chose to create their masterpieces with the 2010 benefit theme, A.R.E (Awareness, Respect and Esteem) you Safe, in mind," explained CHIP social worker Mindy Paddock. "The younger crowds' creativity was really fueled by the knowledge their art would bought by someone who appreciates their efforts and wants to help the CHIP clinic continue to be a place where people like themselves and their families are cared for. I continue to be moved by the enthusiasm, devotion, and time each artist puts into his or her work.The Art Day experience culminates, however,  with TAB's auction, where all the effort really comes to life and the kids' talents get to shine."

Jennifer Koskinen, the Telluride AIDS Benefit's lead photographer, visited CHIP and took the photos posted with this story. That day, she brought her son along.

"My son was so moved watching these kids paint to raise money for the Benefit, he asked if he could do a painting for the auction too. I will be bringing his art  with me when I return to Telluride to shoot for TAB," explained Jen.

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