Telluride AIDS Benefit makes all the difference on the Western Slope

Telluride AIDS Benefit makes all the difference on the Western Slope

[click “Play to hear Susan’s conversation with WestCAP’s Mary Beth Luedtke ]



WestCAP office Since getting off the ground in 1994, the Telluride AIDS Benefit has donated over $1 million towards HIV/AIDS education, advocacy and NGOs, from Colorado to Africa. Today, there are a total of six beneficiaries, including Denver Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program, Brother Jeff’s Community Health Initiative, The Manzini Youth Care Center in Manzini (Swaziland) and the Ethiopian Family Fund. But the mother of them all, TAB’s primary beneficiary, is the Western Colorado AIDS Project (WestCAP), a nonprofit that in its infancy helped support a man named Robert Presley in his battle against the virus. Presley was the Telluride AIDS Benefit’s muse.

WestCAP bookshelfThanks to Presley and TAB, WestCAP was able to grow from a small nonprofit largely serving Mesa County into a much larger private institution providing resources, referral, case management, financial assistance, and support to people living with HIV/AIDS and their families in 22 counties on the Western Slope, 10 of which are the poorest in the state.

The money donated by the Telluride AIDS Benefit constitutes discretionary funding; the flexibility is a major advantage for the recipients. AIDS prevention efforts remain the primary initiatives funded by TAB’s annual gift to WestCAP.

In 2010 alone, the Telluride AIDS Benefit was able to raise over $150,000 from private donors, its annual art auction and its spectacular fashion show. WestCAP received its usual generous allocation.

To find out if you should be concerned about AIDS in your backyard and how WestCAP used those funds to make a difference, click the “play” button and listen to WestCAP’s executive director Mary Beth Luedtke’s interview.

You can also view a video Telluride Inside… and Out created in 2009 which gives an overview of the organization, its staff and its work. The link is /2009/02/tab-and-westcap.html.

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