The Hurt Locker may have slayed Avatar on Oscar night, but one San Francisco nonprofit came out a real winner -- Academy of Friends (AOF). The City by The Bay's venerable organization, which assists men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS, hit a 30-year milestone this year and is being lauded for the more than $7.5 million it has raised and distributed to AIDS/HIV-related nonprofits over the years.
Oscar night brought out hundreds of San Franciscans to AOF's annual Oscar bash, which was held at Fort Mason. Party-goers attending helped generate funds that will go to 11 HIV/AIDS-related agencies on AOF's recipient list this year: AIDS Legal Referral Panel, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, Face to Face, Huckleberry Youth Programs, Maitri, Project Inform, San Francisco LGBT Community Center, Positive Resource Center, Shanti, Tenderloin Health and UCSF's Women's HIV Program.
This year's party theme was dubbed "Behind the Seams: A Salute to Fashion in Film" and included a frothy backstage look at how film fashion has influenced culture. Fun.
But even though the org hit year 30, Executive Director Mike Horak says that it may not be such a "milestone."
"You're looking at 30 years of HIV and AIDS," he says. "While great advances have been made in medical care and treatment, and keeping people alive much longer -- allowing them to live full, robust lives -- it's not really a particularly happy milestone.
"I would actually look forward to the day Academy of Friends is no longer needed and we can very happily close the door for our services," he adds. "That would really be a milestone and something to celebrate."
I was on hand at AOF's lavish affair. Take a peek at some of the action behind the scenes -- or was that "seams?"Video produced by Jeff Dinnell.