Telluride AIDS Benefit: Where 2015 Funds Went

Telluride AIDS Benefit: Where 2015 Funds Went

TAB gives away $120,000 to 8 beneficiary organizations in 2015.


The Telluride AIDS Benefit gave away $120,000 to eight AIDS treatment and prevention groups in Colorado, Utah, and Africa last week, marking an incredibly successful year for the benefit.

“TAB and the community of Telluride have provided over $100,000 in the past 8 years to the orphans of Swaziland. This is a tremendous amount for a country where many workers earn less than $5 a day,” Ed Hendrickson, Founder, Manzini Youth Care.

Every year in February, the Telluride community comes together in support of the Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB) for a spectacular fashion show and art auction. Local models strut their stuff to raise money that will go directly to HIV/AIDS patients and families in Colorado and Africa. More then just a fashion show, it is a week chockfull of fun and educational events including a student fashion show and HIV/AIDS Education Day at the high school.

TAB funds go to four organizations in Colorado, three in Africa, and one in southern Utah. TAB funds are uniquely important to beneficiaries as they are unencumbered by rules as to how they can be spent (unlike government funding). This means that often times, money will go to help with transportation costs of getting to medical appointments and other very basic patient needs not covered by government monies.

Executive Director Michelle Maughan visited two of TAB’s Denver-based beneficiaries this spring, CHIP and Brother Jeff’s Community Health Initiative. She walked around the neighborhood of 5 Points with Brother Jeff (as he is affectionately known by all) and saw the direct impacts of TAB funding as they handed out condoms to high-risk groups in the area’s parks. Due to high rates of intravenous drug use in the area, this is “ground zero” for the spread of HIV in Colorado, said Brother Jeff.

“As national and statewide funding continues to move to a clinical and treatment model, BJCHI continues to be dedicated to prevention, particularly with high-risk populations. BJCHI believes prevention is vital in the fight against HIV. As such, we do not pursue clinical or care funding. This is why the support of TAB has been vital over the years,” Brother Jeff Fard.

Both WestCAP and the University of Colorado Clinical Program (together with the Western Colorado Specialty Care Clinic) operate out of Grand Junction and provide care to HIV+ patients in 22 counties on the Western Slope. Those organizations represent the impetus for the creation of TAB. When Robert Presley, a Telluride resident was sick from AIDS complications in the 1990’s, he insisted that if the Telluride community wanted to support him, they needed to support HIV+ patients throughout the region.

In 2016 we look forward to TAB funds bringing needle exchange programs to more communities on the Western Slope via WestCAP”, said Maughan.

CHIP is the sole provider of specialized care for HIV+ children in the Rocky Mountain region. TAB funds help their program with support events, emergency financial assistance, outpatient medical support, medication co-pay assistance and transportation.


Brother Jeff’s Community Health Initiative is based in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood. The nonprofit provides outreach services to African Americans at high risk for contracting HIV and client advocacy to HIV+ African Americans. TAB funds are spent on outreach, harm reduction items such as condoms, stipends, and vouchers, etc. as well as direct case management.

In Moab, Utah, TAB funds support the Moab Free Clinic by funding a program for weekly confidential HIV and STD testing, as well as community outreach and education.

In Africa, Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV infection and Manzini Youth Care helps marginalized youth here. TAB funds help to build sustainable orphanages, pay for medical supplies, medications, transportation and housing for HIV+ patients and their families.

The Ethiopian Family Fund uses TAB funds to support the Bete-Deida Orphanage in Addis Ababa, which helps HIV+ children as well as a program within the orphanage called “The Women’s Project” which helps HIV+ women become independent and able to support their families.

Generation Ubuntu is TAB’s newest beneficiary since 2013. Based in South Africa, over 200 children and their families are served by Generation Ubuntu’s program in Khayletisha. Despite the odds, every single child in GenU’s program have survived and thrived in a country where 1,000 people succumb to the disease each day. TAB is proud to help support their mission to see HIV+ young people live long, healthy and meaningful lives.

TAB funds raised during the annual fundraising week also go towards local educational initiatives and year-round FREE HIV TESTING at the Telluride Medical Center. Please contact the Telluride Medical Center today to set up a free HIV test at 970.728.3848. If you would like to bring free testing to your community or an HIV/AIDS awareness day to your school, please contact us.


All told, the models and volunteers give about 5,000 hours of their time for the week of events. TAB needs 150 or more volunteers to make to make these events come together.

“It is an awesome feat for our small community that so many people come together to support this cause,” said Maughan.

If you are interested in making a donation to the organization or getting involved at any time during the year, please contact Michelle at for more information.

Learn more about our beneficiaries at

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