Letter From The Executive Director

February, 2003

Dear Friends:

A belated Happy New Year! It’s been at least six months since I last wrote and given all that has taken place in the past year, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is truly blessed. The American theatre community continues to inspire us with their unprecedented volunteer efforts in fundraising at this fall’s Broadway Flea Market, Gypsy of the Year Competition and more. I am always amazed by the generosity of this community, and never before as in the past year.

But we owe an equally important debt of gratitude to you – our individual, corporate and foundation donors – for so generously joining the theatre community in these efforts.

Broadway Cares depends on you. Your support helps us immeasurably in keeping our commitments to The Actors’ Fund, as well as to hundreds of AIDS and family service organizations across the country. I hope you’ll take a moment to roll through our website. Certainly there are plenty of wonderful event pictures. But, if you would, take a moment to look through the grant-making sites as well – so that you can get a sense of BC/EFA’s fundraising and grant-making efforts.

Our support for The Actors’ Fund is unwavering and something of which I am particularly proud. I hope you will take a close look at how BC/EFA’s support has grown over the last decade to embrace not only those living with AIDS but so many others in crisis – indeed so many others who make so much of our fundraising possible.

Accordingly our National Grants Program continues to grow. In November our National Grants Committee met to consider applications from over 400 organizations providing front-line services to men, women, children and their families grappling with the still-confounding daily reality of life with HIV and AIDS. The committee awarded $1,620,000 to 370 organizations across the nation. The support that Broadway Cares offers is particularly vital at this perilous moment for community based nonprofit AIDS service organizations, which are often the last resort for individuals and their families struggling with disease, poverty, isolation and addiction.

I recently received a letter from The San Francisco AIDS Foundation, one of the most influential and best-run social service providers in the country.”Government cuts to AIDS-related programs and services loom large,” they report. “The changes outlined in the state budget will be damaging to low-income clients who depend on public support for life-saving HIV medications and threaten the quality of medical care for people with AIDS. The city also anticipates a significant shortfall and Congress has yet to agree on continued funding. None of this bodes well for local AIDS service organizations.”

Sadly, letters such as this suggest that the situation will worsen in the near future. With our national and regional economies suffering and budget cuts looming, Broadway Cares’ support is more vital than ever before.

Thank you for extending yourself when – without doubt – there are times when you may feel you cannot hear one more appeal for help. Thank you for offering some of your good fortune to those facing hard times right now.

Tomorrow it could be any one of us who is caught by this social safety net. We cannot let it fray. And it will be there – for you, for me, for our families, friends and colleagues – only with, and because of, your generosity today.

BC/EFA’s role in the health of our community is clearer than it ever has been. What we do together can have a real and meaningful impact on those around us in need.



Tom Viola
Executive Director