In honor of the opening of The Actors’ Fund newly expanded AL HIRSCHFELD FREE HEALTH CLINIC – the following letter was sent by BC/EFA President Paul Libin and Executive Director Tom Viola. In 2004 BC/EFA provided $500,000 in support for The Clinic’s operation but also to fund its move to expanded facilities on the 4th Floor of The Aurora Residence at 475 W. 57th Street in New York City.
In 1987, when Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS first came into being as two small but very energetic, grassroot fundraising efforts, a band of very concerned and committed members of the Broadway community came together in an effort to do something – indeed anything – to reach out to their friends, co-workers and loved ones facing the desperate medical and social challenges of AIDS. Times were very grim and the outlook for those who were sick was bleak. Services were scarce and resources few.
But fundraising efforts increased. In 1992, these two fledgling organizations merged and over the next 12 years, BROADWAY CARES / EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS grew twenty times over, raising funds that would respond not only to those living with AIDS, but that would also embrace women’s specific health issues and reach out in many different ways to all members of our theatrical family who find themselves in crisis.
No one program of The Actors’ Fund more reflects that expanding embrace than the AL HIRSCHFELD FREE HEALTH CLINIC here – in its new home – on the 4th Floor of The Aurora Residence.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is proud to be one of the primary financial supporters of The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic. The care offered for everyone here has become an integral piece of our on-going mission.
Thousands of members of our theatrical family will utilize the medical services provided here because so many of that same family generously offered their talents and energies to create an on-going fundraising initiative that is both uniquely personal and, indeed, historic in scope.
From little acorns…..
May the work done at The Hirschfeld Clinic flourish like the towering residence here at the corner of 57th and Tenth Avenue for years to come. And may all who enter remember, as Hippocrates said, “that there is art to medicine….and yet warmth, sympathy and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.”
|Paul Libin||Tom Viola|