SAAF takes on two Wingspan programs

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Press release from So. AZ Aids Foundation:

(Tucson)— The board of directors for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) unanimously voted Tuesday evening to move forward with plans to take on Wingspan, Tucson’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community center, and its programs. The SAAF Board has agreed to immediately take on and continue 2 of Wingspan’s most vital programs, the Anti-Violence Project and Eon Youth Lounge. These 2 programs and associated staff will move to SAAF this Friday August 1.

SAAF Board President Miguel Cruz stated, “This is an incredible opportunity to enhance SAAF’s already strong programs while maintaining Wingspan’s vital & critical community outreach. Simply put, the SAAF Board of Directors could not imagine a community without these programs and our vote to continue Wingspan’s work is well-aligned with SAAF’s mission of creating and sustaining a healthier community”.

Over the next several months, staff from SAAF and the Wingspan board of directors will work together to ensure a smooth transition and begin planning for the long term success & revitalization of Wingspan. SAAF Executive Director Wendell Hicks says, “We recognize and respect Wingspan’s brand and reputation in the community. Our hope is to maintain and grow that brand. There is no doubt that the LGBT landscape is constantly changing and we at SAAF feel that there is still an important role for an LGBT center to play in the community. We’re excited to continue the amazing work Wingspan has been doing over the past 26 years”.

A special event is being planned for September to celebrate this announcement and to share news about a new date for the annual Wingspan Dinner, previously scheduled for September 13.

SAAF’s mission is to create and sustain a healthier community through a compassionate, comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS.
Wingspan’s mission is to promote the freedom, equality, safety and well-being of LGBT people.

Contact: Wendell Hicks, SAAF Executive Director
(520) 628-7223

Ethan Smith Cox, SAAF Director of Development
(520) 547-6105

Carolyn’s note: This is great news since those two Wingspan programs are terrific and are needed in this community. Stay tuned for more announcements from SAAF and Wingspan.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).