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The Connection



White Transportation Program

Board Members See the AIDS Council in Action

Inaugural Columbia County Garden Party

Inaugural Columbia County Garden Party (Continued)

Water Works Pub: A Community Partner

June: A Great Month for Testing

Get Your French On!

AIDS Council of Northeastern New York 927 Broadway Albany, NY 12207

On Thursday, April 29, 2010, 45 restaurants, 65 volunteers, and more than 16,000 diners joined forces for the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York’s 7th Annual Dining Out For Life® event, raising more than $42,000 for the agency’s Client Services Emergency Fund and its prevention and outreach efforts. “We were absolutely amazed at the generosity and goodwill shown by everyone who participated,” said Michele McClave, the AIDS Council’s Executive Director. “The participating restaurants, our volunteer Ambassadors, and the thousands of individuals who dined out proved that together, we can all make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.” The 7th Annual Dining Out For Life® event had its best year ever on all fronts, said McClave. “Our overall income exceeded last year’s total of $31,000 by 35%. Contributions from diners increased by an astounding 52% over last year. And our participating restaurants exceeded last year’s restaurant contributions total as well – even more impressive considering the difficult year many restaurants had. Everyone involved truly pulled together, with the result being increased funds to provide emergency service to people living with HIV/AIDS in our community.” The top restaurant this year was a first-time participant, the New World Bistro Bar in Albany. “New World Bistro Bar contacted us about participating, and we were thrilled to have them on board,” said McClave. “The restaurant contributed $1,127, and donations from diners at the restaurant totaled $1,292, for a grand total of $2,419.” The volunteer Ambassador for New World Bistro Bar, Karen Cavanagh, was the top Ambassador. 12 restaurants exceeded $1,000 in total contributions for the event, which is the highest number of restaurants to achieve this level in the event’s history. Top Venues (Total of Restaurant & Diner Contributions)

Top 5 Restaurants*

New World Bistro Bar: El Loco Mexican Café: Aperitivo Bistro: Hattie’s™ Restaurant: Tiznow Restaurant:

New World Bistro Bar: Aperitivo Bistro: El Loco Mexican Café: Hattie’s™ Restaurant: Ca’Mea Ristorante:

$ 2,419.00 $ 2,196.35 $ 1,599.74 $ 1,463.25 $ 1,345.75

$ 1,127.00 $ 979.74 $ 907.35 $ 893.25 $ 742.50

*9 restaurants have not turned in contributions as of July 1, 2010

Top 5 Ambassadors Karen Cavanagh (New World Bistro Bar): Tonia Capaz (El Loco Mexican Café): Peter Bevacqua & Stephen King (Red Dot Restaurant & Bar): Joyce Elliott & Cynthia Swadba (Tiznow Restaurant): Gail Wilson (Pasquale’s Restaurant & Pizzeria):

$ 1,292.00 $ 1,199.00 $ 815.00 $ 810.00 $ 680.00

Visit to see how much all our participating restaurants raised.


EXECUTIVE TEAM Michele McClave Executive Director Julie Harris Deputy Executive Director Diana Aguglia Plattsburgh Regional Director Bill Faragon Director of Finance and Operations Nancy Fisher Director of Prevention Services Michele McLeod Director of Human Resources Richard Nacy Director of Development and Marketing Sherry Piscitella Director of Client Services

THE 2010-2011 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mark Mulson President Kristin Koehler, Esq. Vice-President Terri Conrad Regan, CPA Treasurer Gloria DeSole, PhD Secretary Steve Ammerman Carolyn Anderson Lisa Antenucci Karen Asher, MBA Joan Hayner Robert Montgomery Timothy P. Murphy Gary Redhead Mark T. Ryan, CPA Eric Simonds Nicole Stein Paul Tsui, Esq. Gregory Zannitto Debra Zimring, MD, PhD

WHITE TRANSPORTATION PROGRAM On July 1, 2010, the AIDS Council began a new program year, and continues coordinating the White Transportation Program through a Ryan White Part B grant and the AIDS Council’s Client Services Emergency Fund. The White Transportation Program provides transportation services to people who are HIV positive and reside in one of the 17 counties served by the program: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington Counties. Eligible rides allowed by Ryan White Part B funding include medical appointments (including dental and pharmacy), mental health counseling appointments with a licensed provider (including individual, family, couples, and group counseling), substance abuse treatment with an OASAS licensed provider, treatment adherence services, and support services that are linked to medical outcomes associated with HIV clinical status. For AIDS Council clients, additional transportation services are available. Transportation requests can include case management appointments (to facilitate engagement in AIDS Council services and programs), support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and socialization events which assist clients in expanding their support network. There are several types of transportation options available, with the least costly mode of transportation being used (e.g. a bus as opposed to a taxi in the city). Physical limitations of the client are considered in determining the least costly option. The year ahead will bring changes to the program including improved access to transportation. Currently, only clients receiving case management services can obtain transportation through the White Transportation Program. To improve access, individuals will not have to be case managed to receive transportation services. They will be able to contact the White Transportation Program directly to receive these services. In addition, the program will be producing new outreach materials so more consumers know about the program and can access services. For more information about the White Transportation Program, contact Sherry Piscitella, Director of Client Services, at 518.434.4686.



The AIDS Council is currently seeking donations of toiletry items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, disposable razors, dish/laundry detergent, feminine products) for its client pantries; if you are able to donate these items (all toiletries must be new, and in sealed packaging if applicable), please contact Laura Trolio at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2226 or drop off your contributions between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at any AIDS Council office.



Board member, Kristin Koehler, chats with Harrison Titus, Donna Wynn, and Loray Williams from the Prevention Services Department.

AIDS Council board member Kristen Koehler “shadowed” several AIDS Council employees during their day-to-day activities. This past March, Kristin Koehler, Vice-President of the AIDS Council’s Board of Directors, had the opportunity to observe the agency’s Prevention Services department in action. “I joined Harrison Titus, who is an HIV Test Counselor, at an event at the Troy YWCA, one of the AIDS Council’s community testing sites,” said Koehler. “The event was a community dinner, and the AIDS Council provided a table with information on resources along with HIV testing.” Koehler had the opportunity to observe an HIV testing session at the event, and was impressed by how personable and professional Titus was during his interaction with the client. “I knew that the AIDS Council’s testing counselors were well-prepared, but I was surprised at just how much conversation there was between Harrison and the client. It wasn’t a case of, ‘I give you the test and you wait for the results.’ Harrison opened a dialogue with the client to assess [the client’s] knowledge of risk factors for HIV and STDs, and the rapport he developed within the testing session was terrific.” Koehler stated that the client brought a younger relative who also was tested at the event, and was surprised by what each generation knew about HIV and the risk factors for the disease. “The [younger relative] had greater knowledge about the risk factors for HIV and STDs, even though the older client had lived through the initial years of AIDS epidemic. It was interesting to see how Harrison used the testing session with both clients to determine their risk factors and to create a plan for each to reduce their risks going forward.” The following week, Koehler also observed an A-Tech (AIDS Prevention & Technology) session held at Equinox, Inc. The youth involved in the A-Tech program had been working with AIDS Council staff for the previous 15 weeks, and had been involved with the development and launch of the agency’s “The Price Is Your Life” youth HIV/STD awareness campaign. During the session at Equinox, Inc., the youth were developing posters to promote the various HIV awareness days held throughout the year. “I was amazed at the level of understanding the youth had about the AIDS crisis, and I was also struck by how much the A-Tech program meant to them. The session I observed was the final ATech session for the year, so the youth were disappointed that the program was winding down.” Koehler was impressed with both the AIDS Council staff and the individuals participating in the programs. “I had no idea what to expect from my observations. I walked away with the understanding that the AIDS Council builds trust with its clients and program participants, and this trust leads to a positive experience.” Koehler’s observations also gave her a deeper understanding of her role on the AIDS Council’s Board of Directors. “When I was voted on to the board, I was looking for an organization where I could utilize my background in health law. On a personal level, I grew up during the beginning of the AIDS crisis, and learned very early that HIV/AIDS can affect everyone. It can affect me. My work with the AIDS Council is challenging and rewarding. I work with a wonderful staff and board, so it’s a pleasure to contribute my time to the cause.” For more information about the AIDS Council’s work in the community, visit



Banking with a Purpose

INAUGURAL COLUMBIA COUNTY GARDEN PARTY: de Marchin (clothing . accessories . ideas) FACE Stockholm Fairview Wines & Spirits, Lewis & Risa Dimm Fix Bros Fruit Farm Gary DiMauro Real Estate, Inc. Halstead Realty The Inn at Hudson Lili and Loo Loomis Creek Nursery Madalin Hotel Madalin’s Table Marx Home Paul Frederick Co. Peter Bevacqua Garden Design, LLC Van Alstine & Sons, Inc.



Sunday, June 20, 2010 dawned sunny and warm for the AIDS Council’s Inaugural Columbia County Garden Party, and more than 135 friends converged on the grounds of Forth House in Livingston, New York, to show their support for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Hudson Valley. Through sponsorship, Honorary Committee memberships, and ticket sales, more than $28,000 was raised to support the agency’s Client Services Emergency Fund and its prevention and outreach efforts in Columbia and Greene Counties. With the afternoon sunshine punctuated by a spectacular breeze, attendees gathered to acknowledge the efforts of the event’s hosts, Jim Joseph and Scott Frankel, as well as Board member Robert Montgomery and volunteer Peter Bevacqua. In her remarks at the event, Executive Director Michele McClave acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the individuals who helped make the first-time event a success, and spoke of the importance of the AIDS Council’s work in the Hudson Valley: “Your generosity will help us support those who are infected and provide them with the tools to achieve milestones in their lives that we could not have comprehended in the early years of the epidemic. Unfortunately, AIDS is not in the forefront of our society’s mind, and many actually believe that AIDS has been cured. Still others think that the pharmaceutical advances in the past 15 years have made the disease easy to manage and easy to live with. These beliefs and misperceptions make our work more difficult and more urgent than ever before.” She continued, “At our office in Hudson – not far from here – our case manager meets with clients and works one-on-one to reduce barriers to maintaining their course of treatment. We connect clients with responsive care and provide transportation to essential appointments, we provide emergency financial assistance, assist clients in obtaining and maintaining safe and affordable housing, and also help clients decipher medical paperwork and maneuver through the complex health care system. We work with individuals re-entering the community from prisons, jails, or treatment facilities. From A to Z, the AIDS provides a continuum of life-saving and life-changing services right here in Columbia and Greene Counties.”

brigar x-press solutions Seagroatt- Riccardi, Ltd. Tablecloths for Granted

Plans are underway for the 2nd Annual Columbia County Garden Party in 2011. To find out how you can get involved or for event sponsorship opportunities, please contact our Development Department at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2415 or



AIDS Council Staff

Board Members Paul Tsui & Robert Montgomery

Carolyn Anderson, Meredith Butler & Barbara Brenner enjoy the sunshine

Donnie Tessitore, Mark Duffy, Steve Ammerman & Todd Hilgendorff

Guests enjoying appetizers and cocktails

Frank Tartaglione & Dave King

Gary Hess & Trevor Burgess

Hosts Jim Joseph (left) and Scott Frankel (right) with Michele McClave

Jane Altes & Tom Marino

Lisa Troxell of SEFCU & her daughter

Martina Arfwidsen of FACE Stockholm (right) & Friends

Peter Bevacqua & Carrie Haddad


AIDSWALK 2010: Lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement: AIDSWalk 2010 is coming soon! On Sunday, September 26, 2010, the AIDS Council will join other community service agencies to raise funds for People Living With HIV/AIDS in our community. To join the AIDS Council’s team, aidswalk/ for easy online registration. You can also contact our Development Department at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2415 or for more information.

HELP FIGHT AIDS THROUGH BOOKS & MUSIC UPDATE: On Saturday, June 26th and Saturday, August 7th, Steve Kozlowski and his team of dedicated volunteers held their 17th Annual Book Sale at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Albany. The June sale raised more than $2,200, and the August sale brought in another $2,000 to provide emergency services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Many thanks to Steve and everyone who assisted with the sales, and a special thank you to The Book House for its ongoing partnership and support. If you are interested in volunteering or in donating new or very gently used books, CDs, or DVDs, please call Steve at 518.482.5602 or e-mail him at

WATER WORKS PUB: A COMMUNITY PARTNER To read the complete article, please log on to and scroll down to “A Few Minutes With…” When Peter Agostinello joined the staff of Water Works Pub in November 2001, he had a vision of bringing the establishment into the 21st Century. “I started as a Friday night bartender in 2001, and in 2002 the owner, Robert Savoca, promoted me to General Manager. My first goal was to update the venue, so we made a lot of changes to the infrastructure – we gutted the walls, opened up the floor plan, and transformed the space into a lighter and brighter pub atmosphere.” In addition to these changes, Agostinello transformed the upstairs dance floor, updating the sound and lighting systems, and adding state-of-the-art laser lights, giving the venue a more modern and metropolitan feel. But the changes didn’t stop there. “I wanted Water Works Pub to have a real connection to the community, and to open up the doors – literally and figuratively – to a broader base of customers.” Conversations with the AIDS Council’s Assistant Director of Prevention Services, Randy Viele, led to on-site HIV testing at Water Works Pub, which was not an immediate success. Scott Levine, the venue’s Assistant Manager, recalled, “The AIDS Council’s Project HOPE team was in for testing from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and very few people actually came in for testing. We realized the demographic that needed testing was here much later, so we encouraged the Project HOPE team to consider coming in during the late night and early morning hours.” Project HOPE worked with Water Works Pub to institute testing during “Therapy Thursdays,” and the results were significant. “There was a huge increase in the number of people getting tested,” Levine said. “Our clientele now had a place to get tested where they felt relaxed and comfortable – you can slip away for half an hour, get tested, and be in a supportive atmosphere.” Levine also said that the testing area within the venue makes a big difference: “The testing room is very private, and clientele don’t have to walk through a big crowd to get tested, so there’s no feeling of having the spotlight on you.” Water Works Pub has also become a major sponsor of events in the community, including the AIDS Council’s Dining Out for Life®, its Inaugural Columbia County Garden Party, and its signature fundraising event, the Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Celebration; at this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau, Water Works Pub will be the Club Beaujolais sponsor. “When we sponsor an event,” said Agostinello, “we do it right. We do it respectfully and we make sure our clientele and the community is involved. We don’t do it for the recognition – we do it for the community.” For more information about Water Works Pub, please visit Log on to for information about AIDS Council’s Project HOPE testing dates.

Peter Agostinello, bartender Craig Hills & Scott Levine

Water Works Pub’s VIP area

21st Century upgrade: digital signs at Water Works Pub


The AIDS Council “saddled up” for the 2010 Capital Pride in Albany. Our contingent included 2010 Tulip Queen and AIDS Council Reentry Specialist, Mishka Gilkes.

JUNE: A GREAT MONTH FOR TESTING Every month at the AIDS Council is a busy month, but June is historically our busiest testing month. This June was no exception. The combination of warmer weather, festivals, and social events converge to make June a great month for testing. This June was particularly busy with staff conducting outreach and testing at 20 events! AIDS Council staff conducted 221 HIV, 38 syphilis and 125 Gonorrhea/Chlamydia tests during June at Pride events and HIV Testing Week, including Juneteenth Celebration, Black and Latino Gay Pride, Capital Region Pride Festival, Catskill Pride, and Hudson Pride, in addition to our regular testing sites. Besides testing, AIDS Council staff and our Peer Associates were present at all events to help answer questions about HIV/ AIDS, testing, and support services. In addition to answering questions about our established services, Client Services staff was also present at many of the events to promote our new Health Insurance Access Program (HIAP). Please visit for a complete listing of AIDS Council testing times and locations.





927 Broadway Albany, NY 12207 518.434.4686


10 LaCrosse Street Hudson Falls, NY 12839 518.743.0703


Fairview Plaza 160 Fairview Avenue Hudson, NY 12534 518.828.3624


202 Cornelia Street Plattsburgh, NY 12901 518.563.2437


434 Franklin Street Schenectady, NY 12305 518.346.9272







If we made an error, you have a change of address, would like to be added or removed from our mailing list, sign up for our e-mail list or have ideas for future articles, please contact our Marketing Department at 518.434.4686 Ext. 2424 or e-mail The Connection is a publication of the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York. ©2010.

GET YOUR FRENCH ON! Join us as we cross the River Seine… err… Hudson, rather, as the AIDS Council’s signature fundraising event moves to a brand-new venue, The Rensselaer Banquet & Conference Facility at the Hilton Garden Inn – Troy. This year, we celebrate the era of French Hot Jazz – the Paris of Ernest Hemingway and Josephine Baker, and the sounds of Duke Ellington and Django Reinhardt. Great wine, great food, great music, great fun… for a great cause! Reserve your place at the 16th Annual Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Celebration on Thursday, November 18, 2010. Purchase tickets online at or call 518.434.4686 Ext. 2415.

"The Connection" - Summer 2010  
"The Connection" - Summer 2010  

AIDS Council of Northeastern New York's Summer 2010 Newsletter