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Action Wellness Honors Three “Friends For Life”


Action Wellness to be Presented with Pioneer Award by Center for AIDS Research at UPENN   

PHILADELPHIA, PA (NOVEMBER 2019) - Every year, Action Wellness observes World AIDS Day in partnership with AmeriHealth Caritas. On December 1, as a part of their annual campaign “Action Heroes Wear Red”, friends and supporters are asked to wear red, or a red ribbon, on this day to raise awareness for World AIDS Day. This day is an opportunity for people to unite in the fight against HIV and to commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illness. In 2017, according to the CDC, there were 1.8-million new cases of HIV in the United States. Action Wellness refuses to let this disease take over, and is dedicated to raising awareness in the fight against HIV and AIDS. 

Since 1991, Action Wellness has recognized individuals who have made a very real difference in the lives of people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses by giving them their highest honor: the Friend for Life Award. On December 4, Action Wellness is hosting the Friends for Life Awards event at Yards Brewing Company. The award ceremony is set to honor NBC10’s Vai Sikahema, Yard’s Brewery’s Tom Kehoe and London Grill Owner Terry Burch McNally.

  • Vai Sikaehma has done an outstanding job in raising awareness for those affected by HIV through his work on NBC10 and Telemundo62

  • Tom Kehoe, Owner of Yards Brewing Company, has been supporting Action Wellness for years by creating Action IPA.  Every year the sales of Action IPA benefit Dining Out For Life. Dining Out For Life is Philadelphia’s largest dining fundraiser in which participating restaurants donate 33% of your food bill back to local HIV/AIDS service organization.

  • Terry Burch McNally has been supporting Action Wellness since the first year of Dining Out For Life. Fairmount’s London Grill (which is now closed) has been one of the few restaurants that have been with Dining Out For Life for the last thirty years. 

Through their work, their vision, and their philanthropy, these three individuals have made a very real difference in the lives of people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. 

Finishing out the week on December 6, Action Wellness Executive Director Kevin Burns will be accepting an award on behalf of the organization. It is the Pioneer Award from theCommunity Advisory Board of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of Pennsylvania. The award is part of the Red Ribbon Awards Ceremony which is held each year in commemoration of World AIDS Day, and recognizes the tireless efforts of our local heroes in policy, research, community, faith, youth leadership and more. The Penn CFAR CAB has developed partnerships with several programs from the School District of Philadelphia showcasing the work of youth around the city and creating the space to continue the work of HIV activism and education.

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About Action Wellness:

Action Wellness is one of Pennsylvania’s largest AIDS service organizations. It is committed to helping people living with HIV and other chronic illnesses. Its services include: medical case management, a range of health screenings including HIV testing, treatment as prevention, prevention education, supportive housing, and volunteer services. Services are provided at five Action Wellness locations and at more than 30 host sites throughout the city of Philadelphia and in Delaware County. Action Wellness currently serves over 4,000 clients annually through the efforts of 400 dedicated volunteers and over 100 professional staff working together to sustain and enhance the quality of life for the diverse community it serves.  

About World AIDS Day:

World AIDS Day was founded in 1988 and is the first ever globally recognized health day.  There are an estimated 30,000 people living with HIV in Philadelphia and an estimated 37.9 million people living with HIV globally. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 3 million people have died of HIV or AIDS, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.