AIDS activist lauded for local efforts


first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“It’s odd to get this for something I founded, but it’s exciting to be honored for a gratifying career that served thousands of people,” she said. Also recognized at the Celebration of Life awards, an event in its fifth year to honor individuals who have impacted the AIDS community, were Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care, and the Rev. Gina Chapman of the Good Samaritan Metropolitan Community Church in Whittier. Weinstein received the Christopher Wahl Award, named for Wahl’s son, for his support of WRHAP over the years and his extraordinary effort in the fight against AIDS. Chapman was the recipient of the Community Partnership Award for her many years of ministering to individuals with the disease. “I’m very honored not just to be given it but because of who is giving it,” she said, of the award. “When I first came here there was nothing for people with AIDS, but thanks to Doris there is. WHITTIER – In 1993, a grief-stricken mother who lost her son to complications from AIDS formed a nonprofit organization for others living with the disease in the Whittier area. On Thursday evening, that woman, Doris Wahl, was recognized for everything she has done for the Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project at an awards event held by the organization. “She is an unflappable, unstoppable person, who has overcome all barriers to help people living with HIV/AIDS, and for that we are celebrating her,” said Elizabeth Mendia, the new executive director of the organization. Wahl, who was at the helm of WRHAP before retiring in January, said being the first recipient of the Founders Award at the event at the Radisson Hotel Whittier, felt strange but also rewarding. “She turned a personal tragedy into a community triumph.” All proceeds raised from the evening, where Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, the Rev. Bruce Bergthold of Hillcrest Congregational Church and John Brown of Family Services of the Desert served as presenters, will go toward supporting WRHAP’s services for men, women and children living with the disease. Youth programs at the Christopher Wahl Youth Center, also founded by Wahl to serve Whittier-area youth, will also benefit from the event. Sanchez, who presented the award to Wahl, said it was an honor to be part of such an important event. “This is a woman who had a vision for something she wanted to do and worked her little heart out to make the vision a reality,” she said. “Something very positive has come out of her heartbreak of losing somebody to AIDS.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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