Story and by Stephanie Anne Donoghue, September 2016 Web Exclusive.
Turnabout for TIHAN, and annual fundraiser for the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network, celebrated its 20th anniversary Sept. 4, 2016, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel – Reid Park in Tucson.
In support of this year’s event, titled “The Pink Party,” Tucson’s LGBTQ community, allies, staff and volunteers of various support groups and LGBTQ-friendly businesses participated in the show. (For photos from the event, click here and scroll to the “Turnabout for TIHAN” gallery.)
Tempest DuJour and Janee Starr, the emcees for the evening, kept things moving by injecting their signature performances and humor.
When asked, they both responded that it was an honor to be associated with such a great event and great people. They also hope they will be invited back next year.
Scott Blades, executive director for TIHAN, interrupted the show to announce that Turnabout for TIHAN has raised over $13,000 this evening and has just past $250,000 for its 20-year total.
“Turnabout for TIHAN is a great evening, we had over 400 people here tonight and raised over 13,000 for HIV support services, and now in our 20th year, we have now exceeded over 250k for HIV support services in southern Arizona,” Blades said. “Thank you Tucson, thank you southern Arizona, thank you Phoenix, thank you Arizona for making this happen.”
And, after a brief on-stage celebration with balloons and a lot of applause, the evening’s program continued.
The evening concluded with the drawing for the 50/50 prize and the auction winners. The 50/50 winner donated winnings back to TIHAN.
The general feeling among the attendees, performers and guests was that it was a success – in terms of both the one-of-a-kind entertainment and the critical support for a important organization.
“Oh my god, where do start. It’s like, I just think about the community, what would they do and where would they go and how would they survive, without TIHAN,” Dujour said. “How did people survive before organizations like TIHAN. I mean it’s that import, that serious. We had a lot fun here tonight, we joke and make light of stuff, but there is nothing funny about the desperation in people’s lives and that’s why it so important. But, it’s fun to cut loose and celebrate the successes.”
Stephanie Anne Donoghue is a contributing writer and photographer based in Tucson.