A local community-affairs reporter and an HIV/AIDS grant-program committee will be honored at the AIDS Fund’s 19th-annual Black-Tie GayBINGO.
KYW Newsradio reporter Cherri Gregg will receive the Favorite Straight Person of the Year Award and the From All Walks of Life Fund Advisory Committee will receive the Founders’ Award during the March 24 event.
“I am absolutely humbled to receive the Favorite Straight Person Award from AIDS Fund,” Gregg said in a statement. “I cover HIV- and AIDS-related issues, not only because it is an important part of our coverage at KYW Newsradio, but because these are issues close to my heart.”
Gregg is an award-winning journalist and graduate of Boston University, Howard University School of Law and Temple University School of Media and Communications. She was also president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.
“I have always seen myself as an ally of the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ community, so it means so much to me to receive this honor. I am eternally grateful,” she said.
Gregg not only considers herself an advocate, but also works on exclusive material within the community. She frequents townhalls, emcees charity events and covers everyday people in the Philadelphia area.
“We’re really excited to be honoring Cherri Gregg,” AIDS Fund Executive Director Robb Reichard told PGN. “We worked with her for a number of years now and she always brings light to the continuing HIV/AIDS epidemic. We appreciate her work on that and all the other stuff she does to shine a light in the community on issues that affect all of us.”
Additionally, Gregg provides legal analysis and works on critical civil-rights issues, including immigrant rights, voting and mass incarceration. She also produces and hosts “Flashpoint,” which is a public-affairs show.
“We are excited and pleased to acknowledge and recognize that work she does so well,” Reichard said.
Meanwhile, the From All Walks of Life Advisory Committee spent months shaping policies and procedures for clients’ health maintenance. Two committee members include Action Wellness Deputy Executive Director Beth Hagan and Philadelphia FIGHT Medical Case Management Director Kristi Fults.
“It was great to be an integral part of developing a streamlined application process for AIDS-service providers to get much-needed financial services for their clients,” Hagan said. “The From All Walks of Life Fund fills a tremendous need for our clients at Action Wellness.”
She added that more than 75 percent of clients are at or below poverty level and continue to struggle financially.
“With this fund, they have a resource to prevent being evicted or having their utilities turned off. Time is of the essence and AIDS Fund turns applications around very quickly, which is actually life-saving, and that’s not exaggerating,” said Hagan.
All funds from the event go toward HIV/AIDS emergency services and HIV-awareness efforts in the Greater Philadelphia region.
“It’s really one of the most unique black-tie events in the city,” Reichard told PGN. “We have a blast raising funds for our efforts and everybody has a good time. It’s something we’ve been doing for 19 years. I think that’s one of the beauties of GayBINGO. Our event not only raises funds but, because of the uniqueness of this, it tends to the issue of an ongoing epidemic.”
In addition to celebrating these award recipients, participants will enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, six bingo games, dinner and entertainment from the Bingo Verifying Divas.
Black-Tie Gay Bingo is presented by PECO and sponsored by Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Janssen Infectious Diseases, Prevention Point Philadelphia, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP, William Way LGBT Community Center, Philadelphia FIGHT, Ubar, Tavern on Camac, Barefoot Wine, SawTown Tavern and VU World.
The 19th-annual Black-Tie GayBINGO will be held 6:30 p.m. March 24 in the Regency Ballroom at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market St. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit aidsfundphilly.org or call 215-731-9255.