FIGHT to honor Rendell at annual gala
by Angela Thomas
Nov 27, 2013 | 308 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Philadelphia FIGHT will host its annual Fight for Life gala from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 4 with a special guest.

The organization will honor former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 S. Broad St. Rendell will be recognized for his commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS.

Rendell served as the 45th governor of the Keystone State from 2003-2011 and also as the 96th mayor of Philadelphia from 1992-2000. He also served two terms as District Attorney of Philadelphia before he was elected mayor.

Philadelphia FIGHT executive director Jane Shull said Rendell developed a reputation of being attuned to the needs of the HIV/AIDS community throughout his career in public service.

“Over the years, he has had a stellar record in this area, especially when he was mayor of Philadelphia in the earlier days of the AIDS epidemic,” Shull said. “When he became mayor, he saw to it that there were local resources that went into AIDS care.”

She added that Rendell has been committed to and involved in the HIV/AIDS community, even when that wasn’t a popular choice.

“It says a great deal for him to show up in this context, which again may not seem like so much now, but think back to the 1990s, that was unusual,” she said. “He is willing to be present and supportive and that is meaningful.”

Shull said Rendell was a leading figure in the creation of the city’s needle-exchange program and also helped secure funding for HIV/AIDS programs as governor.

The Fight for Life gala will feature a live jazz ensemble, a silent auction and a portion of the AIDS Quilt on display. Proceeds from the event will go towards the services provided by Philadelphia FIGHT’s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center.

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