ONE SMALL STEP
FOR A WOMAN...
16 September 2002
Bill Brunson - my distant cousin - my "brother" - my
Dick Remley - the soul of "The Last Session" group - Steve's best friend
Arthur Conrad - choreographer / director / dancer / friend
John Gilkerson - costume designer / actor / dancer / choreographer / friend
These are just a few of the dozen or so people who have crossed my
path, some of whom were close friends, some of whom were casual friends, some of whom were
acquaintances, all of whom have lost their lives to AIDS.
Steve - my soulmate
Michael - my friend and co-Judy queen
Mike - my friend (and Bill's husband)
Priscilla - my friend and driving buddy
A very small number of people I've come to know and love, who are
living with HIV or full blown AIDS.
I received a note from my friend Kathleen (the president of
Sacramento PFLAG) today. She was asking me to sponsor her for the Sacramento AIDS walk,
which will raise funds for groups such as Breaking Barriers, who work with people with HIV
and AIDS. When I went to the web page to make my pledge (which I did), I thought--what am
I doing sitting at home and pledging? I'm a jockette now. I should be able to DO this
So, I am now entered to walk in the Sacramento AIDS walk on
September 22. I'm absolutely the world's worst person about asking for money, but should
you be so inclined as to want to be one of my sponsors, the start page is here.
From there you click on "sponsor a walker" and then enter my name and scroll
down a bit to click on my name and enter the page where you can make a pledge. I have
indicated that I want all of my pledges to go to Breaking Barriers, the social service
outreach program for which I have been volunteering for the past 3 years.
The funding for Breaking Barriers has been cut significantly and on
August 29, 30 clients had to be told they were losing the services on which they depend.
Seems that the powers that be--the ones who hold the purse strings, not the ones
administering the program itself--decided that instead of the practical support in the
form of housework, shopping, moving, furniture donations, prescription pick ups, food
baskets, emotional support, etc., they could just hand them some food coupons and be done
with it. (Never mind that some of them live far from food centers and have no means of
public transportation, and might not even know how to drive. Never mind that the emotional
support that takes place when a volunteer works together with a client is, in itself, a
"healing" kind of thing. Just give 'em some food stamps and they'll be fine.)
Trying to keep the program alive, the head of Breaking Barriers
submitted grant applications to five different organizations trying to make up for the
money they were going to be losing, but was turned down by each one of them. So he's
relying on funds from the AIDS walk to help put back some of the services that had to be
cut. (Breaking Barriers is only one of a dozen or more worthy AIDS-related organizations
who will share the funds raised during the walk.) The goal of his team is $7500. They have
so far raised less than $1,000. It's not likely that he will reach $7500 at this late
date, but something is better than nothing.
I figure if I can't put my money where my mouth is, at least I can
put my feet there--and in a more productive way than the usual way I put my foot in my
Too bad it's not a bike ride......
I've written this entry on Friday night and am taking off in the
morning for LA. I have a night of transcription ahead of me, and Cindy wants to go biking
at 4 a.m., before I leave, so who knows if I'll get any sleep at all. I'll probably fall
asleep during Steve's show! But that's OK--'cause I'm seeing it on Sunday as well.
I'll be back Sunday night, with tales of more adventures in LaLa
Land. I am renting a car and going to several different places. I am armed with Yahoo maps
to all of them, all nicely together in a folder along with my Southwest electronic plane
ticket. I have everybody's telephone number programmed into my cell phone and I figure
that all of this organization will surely insure that I leave the folder at home and
forget to charge my cell phone (or forget to bring it with me).