In honor of its 10th anniversary, Latinos Salud will stage a Gala fundraiser at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach.  The festivities kick off at 7 p.m. and will feature local Hispanic musicians and performers, an open bar, and a plated awards dinner with a surprise award to a local advocate who has been dedicated to improving community health, all within the stunningly designed and soaring DCOTA atrium. Local NBC6 news anchor Roxanne Vargas will emcee the evening.

To help celebrate this milestone, Mexican-American fashion designer and Project Runway All Stars winner Mondo Guerra will attend and participate in an “Actor’s Stage” discussion, reflecting on his creative journey, HIV stigma, and how his unplanned disclosure of his own HIV-positive status proved liberating.

As guests enter the Gala event, they will see Mr. Guerra’s most recent designs displayed in the DCOTA’s showcase windows.  Mr. Guerra will also donate a unique creation to the event’s silent auction.

Latinos Salud co-founder, Rafaelé Narváez states, “We have a great evening planned, with singers, videos, a great dinner, and special guests. The event is hoped to raise significant funding, because unfortunately, community support has not kept pace with the agency’s growing service region. Like all non-profits, Latinos Salud depends on private donations to supplement its primary grant support, which do not pay when service targets are exceeded by helping more members of the community.”

“We hope that the community will open its hearts as well as its wallets to support our mission,” said Executive Director, Stephen Fallon, PhD.  “Our three strategically-selected, full-time locations are designed to reduce clients’ barriers to accessing prevention, testing, and linkage-to-care services.  We also take our services to the community with late-night and weekend outreach, using two mobile testing vans. The overhead and staffing for this sort of community engagement require a significant investment from the community, and each of us benefits from this investment.”  Fallon noted recent studies that show persons living with HIV cannot transmit the virus sexually to others, if they are successfully treated. “But too many local Latino and other minority gay men do not know how to access care, fear they cannot afford care, or even postpone testing until their health has degraded significantly,” he noted.

Advance tickets are available online at Standard tickets are $150 and VIP tickets are $200. Sponsors to date include AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Avita Pharmacy, Baptist Health South Florida, CAN Community Health, HOTspots!, Midway Specialty Care Center, Outclique Magazine, and Marks List.