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HOPE Gala Set for Sept. 2

Aug. 9, 2006 — Helping Others in a Positive Environment (HOPE) will hold its bi-annual gala Sept. 2 at Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas.
The black-tie event to raise funds for the AIDS/HIV organization begins at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $100 each.
Civil rights movement activist the Rev. Joseph Lowery is the guest speaker.
HOPE Chief Executive Officer Ivy Moses said Lowery worked with such luminaries as Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy.
"We wanted a keynote speaker that made a difference," she said.
Lowery started his civil rights work in the early 1950s in Mobile, Ala., where he headed the Alabama Civic Affairs Association. The organization was devoted to the desegregation of buses and public places.
In 1957 he and King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Lowery also co-founded and served as president of the Black Leadership Forum, a consortium of black advocacy groups. The forum began protesting apartheid in South Africa in the mid-'70s and continued until the election of Nelson Mandela.
The evening will also see a tribute to King and his wife, the late Coretta Scott King.
Moses said that HOPE's work with HIV and AIDS patients is growing.
She said that in the past two-and-a-half months, five people tested positive on St. Thomas/St. John. "We have a serious problem," she said.
Moses said those five people came from a diverse section of the St. Thomas/St. John community and were in various age groups. She said none of them knew they were positive.
According to Moses, the money raised at the gala goes to fund HOPE's projects, including testing and outreach.
In addition to individual tickets, table sponsorships are available at $1,000 each.
Donors who give more than $7,001 receive corporate sponsorship status. Executive sponsorship status runs $5,001 to $7,000, with platinum sponsorship costing $3,001 to $5,000. Gold sponsorship is $2,501 to $3,000, with silver sponsorship running $1,501 to $2,500.
Booklet advertisements run $250 for the front and back covers, $200 for a full-page ad, $150 for a half-page ad, $100 for a quarter-page ad, and $75 for a business-card ad.

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