The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument, a non-profit organization building an HIV/AIDS monument to memorialize those who died as a result of HIV/AIDS, yesterday announced a $500,000 gift from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the largest gift made to the foundation. Cedars Sinai presented a $250,000 check to the organization during an event today at the West Hollywood Library. Cedars-Sinai will then match additional donations made to the organization up to another $250,000. To date, the foundation has surpassed $1.2 million in contributions for the monument.
“The Foundation for a National AIDS Monument (FAM) is immensely proud of our partnership with Cedars-Sinai and the generous contribution they have made to the AIDS Monument,” said Mark Lehman, chairman of the foundation’s board. “Thanks to Cedars-Sinai’s leadership, FAM has surpassed over $1.2 million in contributions in the first six months of our initial capital campaign, and Cedar- Sinai’s matching gift opportunity will lead to even more contributions in support of our work.”
The physical monument is designed by renowned artist Daniel Tobin and will be located in the heart of West Hollywood. Both a physical structure and interactive experience, the monument will memorialize the AIDS crisis and celebrate the lives of those that have died, honor the institutions and organizations building awareness and fighting for change and inform this and future generations of the current state of HIV/AIDS resources, prevention and care.
“As one of the organizations that has been on the frontlines of caring for people with HIV/AIDS from the very beginning, Cedars-Sinai is proud to support and participate in the community effort to honor the memory of those who have died and to commemorate the dedicated individuals whose activism, compassion and skills played such a crucial role in fighting HIV/AIDS and discrimination,” said Thomas M. Priselac, Cedars-Sinai’s president and CEO.
Cedars-Sinai was one of the first hospitals in the nation to care for people with HIV/AIDS and subsequently created one of the nation’s most comprehensive inpatient AIDS units. Cedars-Sinai researchers also made crucial discoveries about the HIV virus that were instrumental in the development of medications to treat the disease.
“By making half of our pledge a matching gift challenge, we hope to encourage many others in the community to join us in supporting the National AIDS Monument,” Priselac said.
The land for the monument – in the heart of West Hollywood Park – was donated by the City of West Hollywood.