By Darla Shelden
The 25th Annual Birdhouse fundraising event to benefit the Winds House of Oklahoma City will be held on Sunday, April 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. at PhotoArt Studios, 1738 NW 16th Street, in Oklahoma City.
Tickets for the event are $40 per person and include a signature cocktail, wine, hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer from this year’s beer sponsor, COOP Ale Works of Oklahoma City. The event will also feature a live and silent auction.
“We have some amazing ‘artists’ who have signed on to create Birdhouses for us – Jim Roth, Monty Milburn, Lance McDaniel, Michael Pullen, Greg Humphreys, Emerson Events, Dylan Davis, Clayton Issleib, Evelyn’s Flowers, New Leaf Florist, OKC Pride and more,” said Camden Chitwood, Vice President of Winds House.
“The Winds House is a great local charity that provides housing, support and at times regained dignity to Oklahomans in need, who are living with HIV,” said Jim Roth, Chair, Alternative Energy Practice Group at Phillips Murrah law firm in Oklahoma City. “I am proud to be able to participate in this year’s Bird House event and hope people join us in this worthy cause.”
Maria Isabel and Shantel Mandalay are this year’s emcees and will provide the evening’s entertainment.
“All of the birdhouses will be auctioned off live, and we will have a silent auction with gift cards from La Baguette, furniture by Mark Stone of Juxtapose Designs, vintage Barbie art by Debbie Curtis and more,” said Chitwood.
The AIDS Support Program, Inc. (A.S.P.) is a non-profit, privately funded organization that owns and operates The Winds House and The Winds Family House. They are two residences for people who are HIV- infected. Since the mid 1980s, A.S.P. has worked to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s HIV+/AIDS communities.
“With your help, we are making strides in improving the lives of many Oklahomans in need,” said Donna Jackson, President of Winds House. “The Bird House event is one that we look forward to every year. Those who have lived at The Winds House and The Winds Family House reflect the diversity of those the illness strikes. A.S.P. is open to all persons with HIV+ who need a home.”
The Winds House and The Winds Family House are supported by donations from businesses, churches, caring individuals and fundraisers like the Bird House event.
“I love watching the community involvement at this fundraiser,” said Bruce Maxwell, Winds House Treasurer. “We have great sponsors, supporters and friends that make the Bird House event happen every year.”
Some of the event Sponsors are; PhotoArt Studios, Richard Ogden, Nick Post, Dawn Hallman, Maxwell Landscape, The Paper Lion, The Nail Lounge, Donna Jackson, Emerson Events and Design, OkcEstateSales.com, Sheryl Colton and Rob Shaff.
“These donations make it possible to reduce the cost of household items, rent and utilities, thus allowing persons with limited means to live with dignity,” said Jackson.
The Winds House, located at 1707 NW 17, is a transitional program in Oklahoma City for individuals with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or who are faced with the imminent threat of going homeless.
Winds House can offer those in the program a chance to develop skills, find employment, seek educational possibilities, apply for SSA Disability, and work towards finding their way to a better place.
“Our long-term goals include expanding our program by acquiring additional space to serve more people,” said Jackson. “The dynamics of this disease and the probability of decreased public funding make the need for additional housing even more acute. We intend to increase our services by accommodating an even more diverse group of affected people, including families.”
Those who have lived at The Winds House and The Winds Family House reflect the diversity of those the illness strikes. A.S.P. is open to all persons with HIV+ who need a home.
The Winds House and Winds Family House are supervised by resident manager, Connie Beaver.
“This year’s Birdhouse event will be the best yet, we have a couple of fun surprises in store for those that attend,” Chitwood added.
Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.birdhouseforwinds.eventbrite.com or at the door. For more information email [email protected] or visit www.windshouseokc.org.