Date: For Immediate Release, 1/10/2017
Contact: Wendell Hicks,Executive Director
Ethan Smith Cox, Director of Development
SOUTHERN ARIZONA AIDS FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES THORNHILL LOPEZ CENTER ON 4TH– A SAAF PLACE FOR YOUTH
SAAF is very excited to announce its newest project to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community, the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth. This project will create a dedicated space on 4th avenue which will house several of SAAF’s LGBTQ youth-centered prevention programs, including Eon, HIV Youth
Peer Education (HYPE), and Arizona’s Life Links for Youth (Project ALLY). This newest initiative is being funded through a $1.8 million capital campaign which began in March 2016 and has raised more than $1.5 million, to date.
Curtis Thornhill, a Tucson native who now calls Salt Lake City “home”, has provided the lead gift for the campaign and has challenged SAAF to raise an additional $300,000 by the end of March 2017. Thornhill stated, “I was born in Tucson and grew up in southern Arizona. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of amazing mentors who have guided and challenged me to reach my full potential. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th is an opportunity to equip a new generation with the same gifts.”
The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will provide a safe space as well as skills-building, advocacy, and culturally competent care to LGBTQ youth and their allies ages 13-26. SAAF Executive Director Wendell Hicks, says, “Since taking over many initiatives from Wingspan, southern Arizona’s LGBTQ community center for more than a quarter century, 2 & ½ years ago, we here at SAAF have searched for the right way to re-launch LGBTQ programming in Tucson in a sustainable way that was directly responsive to community needs and immediately addressed gaps in services. The Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th will do just that. We are so fortunate for the support of Mr. Thornhill as well as the nearly 100 other donors to the campaign, so far.”
Members of the media are invited to an invitation-only groundbreaking event taking place on Tuesday January 24, 2017 at 4:00pm at the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, located at 526 North 4th Avenue. Mr. Thornhill and SAAF staff will be available for interviews prior to the event. Please contact Ethan Smith Cox, SAAF Director of Development, at (520) 547-6105, to schedule an interview time.