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Why a Red Ribbon?

Because red is the color of the battle flag. It is the color of the fight. Our fight against HIV/AIDS. The fight against misconceptions, fears and prejudices. The fight to find a cure through research and to educate against its spread. Red is also a color of celebration. The Red Ribbon Foundation celebrates the people living with HIV/AIDS. We celebrate those who have come before and fought it. We celebrate and honor their fight. We celebrate those who fight along with them. We rally around the red ribbon. So, that’s why a red ribbon. And that’s why the Red Ribbon Foundation. And that’s why we fight.

Why a foundation?

We celebrate Florence Suerig and honor her fight for the son she lost to AIDS in 1991. Her loss inspired her to raise funds to research the disease that took him away. She fought back in a way she knew Michael would have enjoyed: she invited all those who supported him during his struggle to celebrate his life. Florence, husband Karl and other friends organized the first annual fundraising gala. And thus was born the organization that would come to be known as the Red Ribbon Foundation, a ribbon that now ties together a broader and ever-expanding range of fundraising activities. Today, the Red Ribbon Foundation is the leading AIDS fundraising organization in Connecticut. The Foundation has awarded over $2.5 million to various recipients for education, research and care of people living with AIDS.

Why are funds available every two years?

Red Ribbon’s large-scale biennial gala is the primary source of its grants budget. The Foundation’s parties are elaborate events that are considered among the premiere dates of the fall social season. In the following spring, gala revenues are appropriated according to a competitive grant process.  To minimize fundraising costs, Red Ribbon is fortunate to have a large volunteer corps planning and executing events. Because of the amount of effort required to create galas of this scale, annual benefits and thus yearly grants are not possible. However, a grant applicant may apply for funds to be used over a two year period.