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Thousands raise AIDS awareness at Steve Chase Awards in Palm Springs

Barry Manilow, Lance Bass among others at event

Thousands raise AIDS awareness at...

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Saturday, thousands of people gathered in Palm Springs for the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, the Desert AIDS Project's biggest fundraiser of the year.   


"There's so many humanitarians in our community, and they are moved to help out others," Desert AIDS Project CEO David Brinkman said.


Some big names came out for a night of music, dancing and raising money for the organization helping Valley resident living with HIV and AIDS.


Among those at the event included Emcee Lance Bass of N'SYNC, and pop music icon and longtime Palm Springs resident Barry Manilow.


"They do wonderful work,' Manilow said. "They've got this organization, they've got this wonderful place that's grown bigger and bigger, that gives so much to the community, and to people that are suffering with AIDS." 


Manilow also took time to honor late friend and actress Elizabeth Taylor. 


Accepting the award on her behalf, Naoimi and Tarquin Wilding said they remember their grandmother being a pioneer caring for people living with HIV and AIDS. 


"When I was 17, she took me to the Freddie Mercury concert in London," Naoimi Wilding said. "And I think at that age, I didn't fully understand the work that they were doing, and how important she had become for the HIV and AIDS cause to see her stand in front of how many thousands of people, and to see the effect that they had just hearing their words."


Now, they hope that effect will continue to make its mark, especially in the Valley for years to come.


"That's what we're all about at the end of the day, is helping one another out," Brinkman said.


Brinkman said they expected to raise more than $1 million to help about 3,600 patients and clients across the Valley. 

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