The Nicest Grizzly Bear We’ve Ever Met

Posted in: Local Philanthropy
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July 27, 2011

Julian di Ciurcio has been fighting the good fight since the earliest days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic—since before those terms even existed, before reliable testing and diagnosis, before drugs were developed, before hope was anywhere to be seen. That was in the early ’80s, and Julian still lived in Woodside near San Francisco. There he helped found The Aris Project, an organization that provided Bay Area clients with emotional and practical support and food. “Aris is an Ohlonie Indian word for grizzly bear—symbol of great strength and courage, which was what we all needed most in those dark days.”

Pictured above: Partners Forever legacy donor Julian di Ciurcio and his partner Rob Burrington in the Harold Matzner Serenity Garden at the Desert AIDS Project campus.

When he and his partner, Rob Burrington, moved to Palm Springs in 2000, Julian immediately contacted Desert AIDS Project with one question: “How can I help?” With his many years of experience, he quickly became Coordinator of our Care Team and a regular volunteer at our Health Center. As of this past November, Julian had logged an extraordinary 5,000+ hours of volunteer service to us. Five years ago, he and his partner, Rob Burrington became Partners for Life donors here, generously supporting our client services with their annual contributions.

More recently, Julian decided to name Desert AIDS Project as a beneficiary in his will and trust. After his sister’s death, 18 months ago he says, “I considered a number of charitable organizations I could support in lieu of her not surviving me. I thought about my university, a theatre group I care about, and several other nonprofits. But, when I thought about where do I spend most of my time…the answer was simple: the Revivals stores, working the front desk, the Care Team, all those special events—Desert AIDS Project is obviously a big part of my life.” By naming us as a beneficiary in his will, Julian is ensuring that the “good fight” he started thirty years ago, will be carried on by others long past his own life time. We are enormously and sincerely grateful for his support in its many forms!

Please note: Since the charitable purpose of your bequest may be different from this person, you may want to contact us to discuss a bequest.

You also may want to make it easy and convenient to have a bequest included in your will. The language below shows how a bequest can very easily be included in your will.

Feel free to give this page to your attorney. If he or she has any questions, please have them contact Sue Knollenberg at phone number 760-323-9641 or e-mail us at sknollenberg@desertaidsproject.org

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