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Everyday Heroes Honors Individuals Who I …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760) 656-8401

Everyday Heroes Honors Individuals Who Inspire

December 1st Event Marks World AIDS Day

PALM SPRINGS, CA – October 22, 2019 — Greater Palm Springs will come together on Sunday, December 1, 2019  to celebrate Desert AIDS Project’s Everyday Heroes honorees, at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. The annual event, now in its sixth year, shines a spotlight on local individuals who inspire. This year’s honorees include Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles, Brett Klein, Fiona Foyston, and John Bingle Thompson.

Everyday Heroes was born six years ago and, since then, the annual event has sought to share the inspirational stories of local volunteers and the countless different ways people make a difference in our community, in addition to or instead of writing a check as a show of support. The work of each year’s honorees is heroic and deserves the type of recognition traditionally reserved for major philanthropy in our valley. 

Desert AIDS Project’s CEO, David Brinkman, believes “Everyday Heroes connects deeply to the humanitarian work of Desert AIDS Project because each of the honorees, in their own way, helps DAP do the work we do to remove roadblocks to human potential.”

This year’s event will honor the humanitarian legacy of Barbara Keller by introducing a Community Action Award bearing her name. The award this year will be presented to Bondhus and Stiles, and will honor a different individual’s legacy in the years that follow.

Co-chaired by Terri Ketover, Ann Sheffer, and Tom Truhe.  The event will be produced by Frank Goldstin of Momentous events and feature short films of the honorees created by Abiel Hernandez, and images of the honorees by famed photographer John Paschal.

Broadway star Davis Gaines will perform live during the show. Gaines performed the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times, during his run on Broadway, in Los Angeles, (where he remains LA’s longest-running Phantom), and in San Francisco, (where he received the Bay Area Critics’ Award for Best Actor). Subsequently, he was chosen by Hal Prince and Lloyd Webber to play the leading role in the World Premiere of Whistle Down the Wind. Gaines has sung for five U.S. Presidents and with every major symphony orchestra in North America, including the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. His voice can be heard over 30 cast recordings and compilation albums, as well as two solo CDs, Against the Tide and All My Tomorrows: Songs of Sammy Cahn.

The Honorees:

Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles recently celebrated their boutique’s 10th Anniversary by donating $500,000 worth of new fashion to Revivals Stores, to raise funds for Desert AIDS Project.  The couple has been active in volunteering and fundraising for LGBTQ and AIDS-related charities in both Minneapolis and Palm Springs for over 23 years. Past efforts included several years of coordinating fashion shows at major fundraising events for Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) in Minneapolis. Since the WIL STILES Store opened ten years ago, all excess inventory has been donated to Revivals Stores in support of Desert AIDS Project, as well as cruiser bicycles and gift certificates to various Palm Springs charitable auctions. Bondhus previously served on the board of AIDS Assistance Program (AAP). The couple provides direct financial support to: Sanctuary Palm Springs and NCLR, Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, RAICES and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

Brett Klein is active in local LGBTQ, and HIV + Aging healthcare. Klein has served in many leadership and committee roles. He currently serves as President of the HIV+Aging Research Project – Palm Springs (HARP-PS), which is focused on HIV+Aging research studies to improve the lives of those living with and affected by the disease. Klein says, “I am motivated by the need to help educate the community regarding issues that are personal to me; cycling and pedestrian safety, HIV+Aging concerns, and helping nonprofits at the grassroots level.”  This year, Klein is honoring his 58th birthday by launching his AIDS/LifeCycle 2020 participation.

Fiona Foyston is a long-time volunteer at Desert AIDS Project having worked on behalf of the organization for nineteen years. In addition to DAP, Foyston volunteers her time and talent at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Palm Springs Pride, HRC, Palm Canyon Theater and Modernism Week.  She’s also active in One-PS, representing her neighborhood of Rogers Ranch.

John Bingle Thompson is a volunteer at Revivals Palm Springs store where he has been lending his talent since 2015. He handles all of the new clothing merchandise and assists customers in styling when he’s present in the store. Thompson has been featured in magazines for his design work of his homes and consults on the layout of Revivals stores. Thompson also volunteers for Modernism Week, Palm Springs International Film Festival, American Documentary Film Festival and ShortFest.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

5:30 PM – Champagne Reception

6:30 PM – Awards Show and Entertainment

8:00 PM – After Party

2019 Everyday Heroes Sponsors

Major Sponsors
KESQ

Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler

Gilead

Momentous Events

LuLu California Bistro

Palm Springs Cultural Center

The Desert Sun

Event Sponsors

Contempo Lending

Grace Helen Spearman Foundation

Gay Desert Guide

CV Independent

The Standard Magazine

John Paschal Photography

About Desert AIDS Project

Desert AIDS Project (DAP.) is a Federally Qualified Health Center in Palm Springs, CA offering DAP. Total Care – a combination of medical, dental, counseling, social services, support groups, alternative therapies, in-house pharmacy and lab, and other health and wellness services.  DAP.’s sexual health clinic, The DOCK, offers STD testing and treatment, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and HCV testing. DAP.’s Get Tested Coachella Valley campaign, the nation’s first region-wide free HIV testing and access to care initiative, was recognized by the White House for helping to bring about an AIDS-free future.  DAP. has earned a “Four Star” rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth consecutive year – landing DAP. in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that we exceed industry standards in terms of our financial health, accountability,  and transparency. Visit www.desertaidsproject.org, www.thedockclinic.org, and www.gettestedcoachellavalley.org to learn more.

Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles Honor Barba …

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Steven Henke

shenke@desertaidsproject.org

(760)656-8401

PALM SPRINGS, CA- September 17, 2019 – Designers and fashion boutique owners Molly Bondhus and Wil Stiles will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the WIL STILES store with an ‘Awesome Anniversary Sale!’ exclusively at Revivals Stores (www.RevivalsStores.com). Bondhus and Stiles are donating to Revivals Stores new men’s and women’s clothing valued at over $500,000. 100% of the proceeds will directly benefit Desert AIDS Project (DAP), honoring the late Barbara Keller’s selfless dedication to the organization. Beginning October 16, 2019, customers can shop for the collection exclusively at all three Revivals Stores locations. A special preview event is planned for media and invited guests the evening of October 15, at the Palm Springs Revivals location.

Bondhus and Stiles were part-time Palm Springs residents for five years beginning in 2004 and in 2009 made the desert their official home. WIL STILES first opened its doors the morning of the 2009 Desert AIDS Walk. As Carol Channing sang with a band across the street, crowds of energetic and cheerful walkers made their way down Palm Canyon and past the new store. Simultaneously smiling and teary-eyed as they watched from the doorway of their shop, Bondhus and Stiles knew that they had made the right decision to relocate to Palm Springs. During the past ten years, the store has enjoyed tremendous community support and become a favorite of locals and tourists, alike.

Dane Koch, Director of Retail for Revivals Stores explains the impact of the donation. Molly and Wil have supported us for many years, checking in with us regularly and reacting to our merchandise needs. We have sold thousands of dollars of their product and made a lot of shoppers happy as they have been able to buy upscale clothing at Revivals prices.  We believe this most recent gift will inspire others in the community to donate to Revivals and support the life-changing work at Desert AIDS Project.”

Desert AIDS Project lost one of its most important advocates and strong voices when Barbara Keller passed this year. Bondhus and Stiles hope to honor the legacy of Keller’s philanthropy with this special anniversary sales event. “When Wil and I were initially approached about being featured for our donations to Revivals, we hesitated.  The goal of our philanthropy is not recognition or seeing our names projected on a wall. We give and support because we believe in our community and giving back,” commented Bondhus, who went on to say, “It is up to all of us, not just the wealthiest, to do as much as we can to contribute. While direct donations get attention, the countless hard-working volunteers in the desert do the bulk of the heavy lifting to support the work of our great charitable organization.”

Bondhus and Stiles shared the impact Barbara Keller made in their lives and how she inspires them to continue giving back to the community. “For those of us who knew Barbara, her exceptional combination of intelligence, strength, and fearlessness got your attention from the moment you met her.  Combine those qualities with her innate glamour and charisma and you had the unstoppable Barbara Keller. Barbara’s commitment to social justice issues, and her ability to reach across the political spectrum to gather support for a worthy cause, was unmatched in the desert. All of us need to take Barbara’s passing as a personal call to step up and take action to improve the lives of others in our community.”

Bondhus and Stiles have been active in volunteering and fundraising for LGBTQ and AIDS-related charities in both Minneapolis and Palm Springs for over 23 years. Past efforts included several years of coordinating fashion shows at major fundraising events for Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS(DIFFA) in Minneapolis. Since the WIL STILES Store opened ten years ago, all excess inventory has been donated to Revivals Stores in support of Desert AIDS Project, as well as cruiser bicycles and gift certificates to various Palm Springs charitable auctions. Bondhus previously served on the board of AIDS Assistance Program(AAP). The couple provides direct financial support to: Sanctuary Palm Springs and NCLR, Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, RAICES and the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.

About Revivals Stores and Desert AIDS Project

(Revivals Stores) Greater Palm Springs residents know and love Revivals Stores and have voted it as Best Resale \ Thrift \ Furniture \ Consignment\ or Vintage Clothing Store in four local reader contests this year.   Revivals Stores won Best Furniture Store and Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Sun’s 2019 Ultimate Pride Contest, Best Consignment / Resale Store in Desert Magazine’s 2019 Best of the Valley, Best Thrift Store in CV Independents 2019 Best of Coachella Valley Contest, Best Thrift Store in GED Magazines 2019 Out Awards Contest, and Best Consignment / Best Thrift Store and Best Vintage Clothing Store in Palm Springs Life’s 2018 Best of the Best Contest

Revivals Stores are reinventing today’s thrift store experience, offering selections of new furniture and accessories under their owned brand, Mode at Revivals while featuring national brands such as Scott Living and Ashley Furniture at affordable price-points. Shoppers at Revivals can choose from brand new furniture and accessories while mixing their new style with thrift store finds from the decade of their choice.

Revivals has three locations: Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Palm Desert.  The stores are staffed by 180 volunteers who support the mission of Desert AIDS Project (DAP), enabling Revivals to make an annual $1 million contribution to DAP. DAP has earned a national reputation as one of the most comprehensive HIV/AIDS service providers in the United States. 

Revivals employees and dedicated volunteers create a unique retail experience for the 29,000 people who shop the stores each month looking for a unique thrift store find while shopping brand new furniture and accessories. “There’s an excitement in our stores that you don’t feel at traditional retailers.  Part of that is the thrill of the hunt, but there’s something else happening and I think that is connection to community.  Our volunteers have created a unique community of neighbors helping neighbors inside Revivals three store locations.  They know we are selling product with a purpose,” says Director of Community Development, Steven Henke.

Visit revivalsstores.com and desertaidsproject.org to learn more.

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