The annual Artie Awards, which honors the best of Buffalo theater, isn't just an excuse to get dressed up for a fun night on the town. It also serves a greater purpose and this year, that purpose was to raise funds for ECMC's HIV/AIDS and Immunodeficiency Clinic.
Wednesday morning at the Plaza of Stars in the city's downtown Theatre District, WNED|WBFO President and CEO Don Boswell and Arties founder and Theater Talk co-host Anthony Chase presented the clinic a $50,000 check.
The Arties are sponsored by WNED|WBFO. Boswell said the theater community is proud to help support the work done at the clinic.
"I think we all understand the importance of the theater community here. We are blessed," Boswell said. "It's something we should be very proud of."
Chase founded the Artie Awards nearly 30 years ago. At the presentation ceremony, Chase noted that at that time, HIV and AIDS was considered a "terror" in the arts and theater community.
"Though now people do not die the way they did, it is still not over. It is still a stigmatized disease and we still have people in our community who need ECMC and need the immunodeficiency clinic," Chase said.
ECMC President and CEO Tom Quatroche said the hospital is humbled by the gift and grateful for the donations. He said the money will benefit the hard work being done by the clinic's caregivers.
"All these folks really wrap their arms around their patients, not just clinically, but emotionally," Quatroche said.
Last year, the event raised $40,000 for the same clinic.