The spirit of giving was alive and well at ASC's annual Holiday Celebration. Here, two of our many guests delight in the colorful winter gloves they received as gifts from ASC through the generosity of our wonderful donors.
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During the holidays, as ASC brought the spirit of caring and good cheer to our clients and their families, we were fortunate to have the support of local schools, corporate groups, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals who extended a helping hand to us throughout the holiday season.
In November, ASC's annual Thanksgiving Dinner-Dance at St. Augustine's Church on the Lower East Side provided a warm and festive feast for nearly 200 men, women, and children, with the generous help of 35 volunteers from Bristol Meyers Squibb, Trinity Community Church and other friends of ASC.
In December, ASC's Holiday Celebration at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan featured live entertainment, delicious food, snapshots with Santa, and a spirit of friendship for the hundreds of individuals and families who braved the winter chill to attend this magnificent annual event.
Our Holiday Celebration sparkled that much more brightly thanks to the many "elves" who donated their time during the busy holiday season to make the gathering a success. Dozens of donated gifts were wrapped and organized ahead of time by volunteers from NYU, American Express, and Fashion Institute High School. Gift donations poured in from many sources, including the Children's Hope Foundation, Angelwish, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, CBS, New York Cares, Showtime Networks, and the New York Giants. A cadre of gracious volunteers from Cable Positive's New York Chapter and Brooklyn International High School served the holiday meals and helped distribute gifts to ASC's clients and their families during the event.
ASC also had the good fortune of participating in Barnes & Noble Bookseller's "Gift-Wrapping for a Cause" Program. In mid-December, ASC staff and volunteers wrapped gifts for customers at Barnes and Noble's Astor Place store, allowing us to spread the word about ASC's services, while raising nearly $600 in donations.
Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, an even nimbler group of volunteers "danced the night away" to help ASC stock its Food Pantry. On December 16–18, Danspace Project presented its acclaimed "Food for Thought" dance performance series at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery. Audience members were asked to pay an admission fee plus two cans of food, yielding 16 large boxes packed full of canned food for ASC's Pantry. ASC was pleased to be the recipient of this event for the second year in a row. The items collected were disbursed to ASC clients in need throughout the month of January.
The spirit of giving permeates ASC throughout the holidays and all year long. Volunteers greatly expand our capacity to bring hope and help to New Yorkers facing the challenges of HIV/AIDS. We thank our many volunteers for their spirit of giving and for the goodwill they have shown to ASC and the hundreds of men, women, and children we serve.