AIDS Memorial Quilt to be on display at USD

AIDS Memorial Quilt to be on display at USD The University of South Dakota will host the AIDS Memorial Quilt Display in Slagle Auditorium March 25-27.

Nearly 400 panels will be on display. The quilt is the largest community art project in the world and is now over 43,000 panels. Cleve Jones, founder of the project, and other activists started the quilt in 1985. The display will be free of charge and open to the public.

The Vermillion AIDS Memorial Quilt Display Committee is asking for campus and community support in bringing the display to the community. The committee needs to raise approximately $6,000 in order to fund the USD display. The community, area schools and organizations are invited to participate. Any extra funds that are raised will go to the Berakhah House, a home for those living with AIDS, in Sioux Falls.

"As I have talked to many of the family members I hear over and over the theme of 'I have not been able to talk about this person's death to anyone,'" said Wendy Stubbs, co-chair of the display committee. "Sometimes I almost hear some delayed grieving or at least remembrance of that loved one who has died of AIDS when I hear the stories about that individual. I truly think our mission statement as well as our theme say a lot, 'Tell the Story'."

Event organizers hope the community will support the program by volunteering, donating or attending the event. Those interested may volunteer to be on one of the 10 committees including: education, fundraising, finance, merchandise, media, display promotion, logistics, panel making, volunteers, and ceremonies.

"The volunteers have no personal agenda in working on this project, except to show our humanity," said Stubbs. "But what is amazing is to hear the stories of team members and find out how many of them have been greatly impacted."

Organizers also encourage the community to attend the event and hear Cleve Jones, founder of the project, speak on the beginning of the quilt. Jones will speak on Monday, March 26 at 8 p.m. in Farber Hall on the USD Campus. The Program Council News and Views, Gay Lesbian Bisexual Alliance and the USD Foundation are Jones' sponsors.

Finally, there are five levels of giving donations, which consist of the following:

* Friend: $1.00-$49.99;

* Supporter: $50.00- $99.99;

* Bronze: $100.00-$249.99;

* Silver: $250.00-$499.99;

* Gold: $500.00-and up.

Checks should be made payable to USD Foundation and marked AIDS current account. Donations should be mailed to the Coyote Student Center on the USD campus. Those interested in donating funds, time or supplies and those who are interested in more information should contact the committee co-chairs Wendy Stubbs or Sara Fidler, at (605) 624-6902 or (605) 624-6511.

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