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    REAF: 20 Years of Providing Hope, Sustaining Lives

    new_reafThe SF Bay Times congratulates REAF, the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, on its 20th anniversary gala and concert. “Help is on the Way” is Northern California’s largest annual AIDS benefit concert. Primary beneficiaries of this year’s star-studded event include the Abzyme Research Foundation, Aguilas, AIDS Legal Referral Panel and Positive Resource Center.

    At the heart of REAF are Ken Henderson and Joe Seiler, who produce the REAF events and have been together as a couple for 32 years. REAF launched after the couple was approached by Barbara Richmond and Peggy Ermet, who asked them to put on a show to honor their sons, John and Doug, who both died of AIDS. Seiler previously worked with Doug Ermet at Macy’s San Francisco.

    “Doug was always there helping me, and countless others, reach their potential,” Seiler told the Bay Times. “He inspired me to use my creativity and to trust myself. He never asked for anything in return, and was very humble about his gifts. Doug also introduced me to the San Francisco cabaret scene, and to the amazing late singer Nancy LaMott, who performed in the very first ‘Help is on the Way’ benefit honoring Doug’s memory.”

    new_reaf2REAF and its volunteers have since raised millions for local AIDS service organizations. We need to keep fighting HIV/AIDS until the battle is won, so we hope to see many of you at this Sunday’s event. It will be held at the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts just as the first event was. Please also join us here, as we take a look back at two decades of “Help is on the Way.”

    For more about this important organization and its history, visit:
    www.richmondermet.org