June is Pride Month when the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals are recognized.
June 11 was Pride Night at the Detroit Tigers home game vs. the Chicago White Sox and Comerica Park was decked to the nines with rainbow flags and filled with LGBTQ+ fans and their allies for the celebration.
To open the game, the National Anthem was sung by the PRISM Men’s Chorus.
Detroit Tigers Pride Night was also the site of an annual fundraiser for Wayne State University’s Fighting AIDS with Nutrition (FAWN) organization. FAWN members, WSU students, and their friends and families came out to join in the festivities while raising money for the charitable organization. The Detroit Tigers also matched all ticket sales for FAWN’s event to give free Tigers tickets to vaccination health care workers.
FAWN, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has helped people living with HIV/AIDS for 20 years by sending liquid nutrition to patients across the globe.
“HIV/AIDS and nutrition are strongly related and complement each other. HIV impairs the immune system, which leads to malnutrition. This leads to further immune deficiency and contributes to rapid progression of HIV infection to AIDS,” said Ali Khanafer, president of FAWN.
Retired WSU music education instructor Bernie Beutel with FAWN Vice President Joseph Paul Javier and friends Autumn Coulter and Daniel Frederick.
“By keeping these patients well-nourished, we can help them fight the virus and maximize the therapeutic benefits of their ARV medications. On behalf of FAWN, we are grateful to everyone that supported our baseball game fundraiser and to the Wayne County Pharmacist Association for collaborating with our organization on this successful event.”
Pastor Frank Julian, FAWN’s founder, added, “With our partnership with World Medical Relief, we are sending liquid nutrition with their shipments to countries all over the world. Now that our patients have ARVs, the world seems to have forgotten about these people. We need to be the voice of those crying in the wilderness and it seems as if no one is hearing right now.”
This year alone, FAWN sent almost 5,500 units of liquid nutrition to those abroad living with HIV/AIDS. The philanthropic organization looks forward to expanding its reach and possibly establish chapters at other colleges and universities within the state of Michigan.
Learn more about FAWN and how you can help provide liquid nutrition to help people living with HIV/AIDS.