For a decade now, Breaking Boundaries in Idaho Falls has been making a difference in the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS in southeast Idaho. This year, year eleven of the organization’s annual fundraiser dinner again showed the overwhelming support the community here has for Breaking Boundaries and its important mission.
Pride Foundation was among this year’s co-sponsors of the dinner and related events, which included a week’s worth of educational activities leading up to the black-tie dinner on November 30, and a Names Project National AIDS Memorial Quilt Panels dedication service and candlelight vigil on December 1 in commemoration of World AIDS Day.
More than 400 people turned out for the dinner fundraiser at the Idaho Falls Elks Lodge, contributing thousands of dollars to Breaking Boundaries’ mission of helping those with HIV/AIDS in southeast Idaho live a life of independence and dignity though direct financial support, and increasing awareness and prevention by providing HIV/AIDS education to the community.
Pride Foundation’s sponsorship assisted with Breaking Boundaries’ educational component, helping pay the transportation costs for local school groups to tour the National AIDS Memorial Quilt Panels, aligning the walls of the Elks Lodge.
Among the attendees were Breaking Boundaries board president and the dinner’s master of ceremonies Theron McGriff, a Pride Foundation volunteer, Cherie and Wayne Stevens, longtime members of the Eastern Idaho PFLAG chapter and Pride Foundation donors, and Barbara Condon, reverend of Emmaus Lutheran Community church in Idaho Falls and a new Pride Foundation donor this year. Barbara was also one of the clergy leading the December 1 service and vigil.
I had the pleasure of attending the dinner, service and vigil this year, and am still flush with emotion and admiration about the way the community pulls together to support these events year after year. After two years as Pride Foundation’s regional development organizer in Idaho and thirty years of living here, I still continue to find strong and growing pockets of support for the LGBTQ community in areas of the state like southeast Idaho traditionally stereotyped as staunchly conservative in all things. I’ll never tire of seeing that assumption proved wrong.
Steve Martin is Pride Foundation’s Regional Development Organizer in Idaho. Email Steve.