Art Students Create Bears For AIDS Fundraiser


 Teddy bears for Aunt Rita's Foundation event


AVONDALE, Arizona – Art students at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) designed ten "teddy" bears to be auctioned at the Aunt Rita’s Foundation Red Brunch on Sat., Dec., 6, 2014.

Adam Nunez, Event Coordinator for Aunt Rita’s Foundation, contacted EMCC resident art faculty Jimmy Fike to inquire if the college’s art students could help design ten of the 22 plain white canvas bears created specifically for the silent auction. Fike eagerly accepted the opportunity, knowing his students enthusiasm for community service.

“This was a great opportunity for the students in the EMCC Art Club to create something fun, but help them to understand how their art can be of value and benefit a worthy cause,” said Fike.

In addition to the teddy bears, the Red Brunch will be auctioning holiday wreaths designed by local artists and interior designers, and vacation packages that include hotel and air travel donated by Southwest Airlines.


Dancing bear


“The bears have become a favorite highlight of the event,” said Nunez. “People expect them, and have even started collecting them. Some bear can go as high as $200!”

According to Nunez, he reached out to EMCC based on the college’s ongoing support and partnership of their organization. For the fourth year, EMCC had a team of 30 students, staff and faculty participate in the Arizona AIDS Walk in Phoenix, also presented by Aunt Rita’s Foundation, on Oct. 26, 2014.

The Red Brunch is a signature event that celebrates World AIDS Day and the diverse communities of Phoenix, and raises funds for Aunt Rita's Foundation. The Foundation, in association with its 17 non-profit benefiting agencies in Arizona, provides important services to the HIV/AIDS community, including outreach and education. This will be the third annual Red Brunch and will generate an attendance of nearly 1,000.

World AIDS Day is held on the first day of December each year. It is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for those living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate those who have passed. The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988 and was the first ever global health day. Worldwide, nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS since 1981, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

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