It was an evening filled with the spirit of giving at Radiant Health Centers’ star-studded gala Starway to the Stars on June 2nd. The event held at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, attracted around 300 guests and helped raise $755,000 toward its Capital Campaign, bringing RHC’s campaign fund to $1.2 million, and putting Orange County another step closer to opening a health center for underserved members of its LGBTQ-plus community.
Tony Award winning singer and songwriter Levi Kreis headlined the event. Kreis has starred in the national tour of RENT and played and performed as Jerry Lee Lewis in Broadway’s Million Dollar Quartet, for which he won a Tony Award. He revived some of his best-known stage performances at Starway to the Stars, including original songs. He also shared some of his personal journey as a gay man.
Host Jason Stuart, a well-known actor and stand-up comedian, had people laughing throughout the evening. Stuart is widely known for starring on shows that include The Closer, Will & Grace and House, M.D.
“Stairway to the Stars was truly a magical and history making night, raising major philanthropic support to create a healthy Orange County for all,” said David Piazza, chief development officer of Radiant Health Centers. “The LGBTQ-plus community faces severe discrimination in healthcare and also makes up 80 percent of Radiant Health Centers’ current client base. Expanding into full medical services will provide the LGBTQ-plus community of Orange County a haven for health and wellness, free of stigma and discrimination.”
Radiant Health Centers also honored the Human Rights Campaign for its groundbreaking work to improve health equity for the LGBTQ-plus community. Dr. Vincent “Vinnie” Pompei, director of the Youth Well-Being Project at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of President Chad Griffin.
“To truly eradicate the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Orange County, and to improve health equity for the LGBTQ-plus community, we need to offer specialized medical services tailored to the LGBTQ-plus community,” said Piazza.
Almost 9,000 LGBTQ-plus residents of Orange County have no insurance and many live at or below the poverty level so even basic healthcare is out of reach, let alone HIV prevention or suppression medications and mental or behavioral health counseling.
Radiant Health Centers’ medical center will become a one-stop shop for medical and dental needs, counseling services, and easy access to medications through an onsite pharmacy.
About Radiant Health Centers
Radiant Health Centers has provided more than three decades of exceptional care and support to people affected by HIV and their loved ones. It has been instrumental in driving new HIV transmissions down over the past 15 years; however, six people a week in Orange County are still diagnosed with HIV.
Radiant Health Centers encompasses traditional HIV testing and prevention outreach as well as long-standing services to Orange County’s HIV positive community while also creating a safe space to help more members of our LGBTQ-plus community in need of compassionate care. Learn more. get involved or to donate, visit: www.radianthealthcenters.org.