May/June 2013

Broadway Comes to ARCW in a WICKED Plot to Raise Crucial Support!

Buy your tickets to Witches' Night Off today!

If you are fan of theater in general or Broadway in particular, an extraordinary evening awaits you on Monday, June 24 at the Skylight Music Theatre when ARCW and Members of the National Touring Company of WICKED host “WITCHES’ NIGHT OFF,” an evening of song and dance.  While in Milwaukee, the cast has a rare night off from performing in WICKED at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and has decided to give up their night off to help ARCW in the fight against HIV. Proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and ARCW.

Produced by WICKED company members, Witches’ Night Off is an opportunity for cast members to step out of their roles in the musical and kick up their heels performing some of their favorite non-Ozian material. The event is part of an ongoing series of performances by the touring company to support charitable causes which advance WICKED’s theme of acceptance and illuminate the musical’s message that people should not be judged on first impressions. In its seven years on the road, the company has raised over $2 million in donations for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and local AIDS service organizations all over the country.

Guests of Witches’ Night Off will have unprecedented access to Broadway.

VIP admission is $100 donation and includes a VIP seat, post-show reception with the cast, Wicked tote and playbill signed by all the principle actors. General admission tickets are available for $50. Tickets are available online at or by phone at 414.225.1570.

This exclusive, one-night event will include live and silent auctions featuring opportunities to join the company backstage at Uihlein Hall in the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Live Auction items include:

  • Watch the “Greening of Elphaba”, take a backstage tour, plus 2 house seats for a performance of WICKED between June 28-30th or between July 5-7th.

  • Ride in Glinda's bubble (the same bubble Kristin Chenoweth flew into the 2004 Tony Awards), take a backstage tour, plus 2 house seats for a performance of WICKED between June 28-30th or between July 5-7th.

  • Walk-on role in an actual performance of WICKED, take a backstage tour, costume fitting, plus 2 house seats for friends and family to come see you in WICKED, available between June 28-30th or between July 5-7th.

Witches’ Night Off will begin at 6:30pm with cocktails and silent auction. Skylight Music Theatre is located at 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Buy Your Tickets Here

New Donor Helps ARCW Bring Mental Health Care to HIV Patients in Eau Claire

The Eau Claire Community Foundation recently awarded ARCW a $5,000 grant to help ARCW fund needed mental health services. With the grant, ARCW will be able to provide weekly psychotherapy sessions to uninsured and indigent HIV-positive individuals and their families. 

Half of all HIV patients struggle with serious mental health concerns. However, people with HIV who receive professional mental health services are better able to address their mental health issues, resulting in successful HIV treatment and changes in behavior to prevent the further spread of HIV.

The ARCW Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic offers screening and diagnosis of mental health conditions, mental health therapy and access to mental health medications. Individual and group counseling are conducted in a confidential and comfortable setting.

ARCW recently hired a new psychotherapist to help address the behavioral health care needs of Eau Claire and La Crosse patients. Barbara Schweder, MSW, LCSW, is fully trained and highly qualified to provide this care to HIV patients in the Eau Claire community. Ms. Schweder comes to ARCW with a Master of Social Work from the University of Kentucky and is a licensed clinical social worker in Wisconsin. She has over 15 years of clinical experience, caring for a variety of populations.  Ms. Schweder will spend three days per week serving the Eau Claire community, offering 5 sessions per day for a total of 15 sessions per week.

ARCW is committed to providing HIV patients with the care they need. As the number of HIV patients continues to rise throughout Wisconsin, including Eau Claire and surrounding areas, it is important that ARCW be prepared to meet the increased demand for care. This grant will do precisely that.

The Eau Claire Community Foundation is committed to responding to community needs, and the partnership between ARCW and the Foundation is important for the health and wellbeing of the Eau Claire community. Dr. Kevin Roeder, Director of the ARCW Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, explained, “With this grant, the Eau Claire Community Foundation is helping make a difference in the lives of people living with HIV. All of us at ARCW are grateful to the Foundation for their partnership with us in the fight against AIDS.”

2013 Philantropist of the Year Puts Her Money Where Her Feet Are

Nita Soref, right, with her friends and fellow grand walkers Richard Steele and Robert Parrish, pose with AIDS Walk WI 2008 special guest, Kimberely Locke.

For ARCW, the generosity of the private sector has always meant the difference between a great and an excellent response to the AIDS epidemic.  2013 Philanthropy Award Winner Nita Soref embodies that generosity in so many ways.

Nita’s commitment to the fight against HIV began in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, a time of much fear and little hope. Undaunted by these dark days, she donned her finest walking shoes and set out on a quest for a world without AIDS. For the last three decades, no matter the challenge, she has stepped forward with her support and her philanthropy.  Since the inception of AIDS Walk Wisconsin in 1990, Nita has walked through all the years with her kind heart, her unwavering commitment and her AIDS Walk pledges. 

Nita always kept hope that given the best medical care, effective medications, and help to overcome barriers to care, people with HIV could live a long and healthy life. At a moment of great need, with the ARCW Medical Center literally bursting at the seams due to the ever- growing patient load, Nita stepped forward with her dear friends Robert Parrish and Richard Steele, and granted funds for Room 301 - the first of our medical exam rooms. This is the room that every single patient sees every time they come to ARCW.

Nita’s support means the best medical equipment, a state-of-the-art electronic medical record and a caring medical staff.  For every patient that comes to the ARCW Medical Center her support sends a clear message - a message that our patients are not alone in facing this disease and an assurance that they will receive the finest care in the most comfortable setting. Nita has literally given our patients a place where they can regain their health.

Decades ago Nita came off of the sidelines of AIDS and over the years she has contributed more than $135,000 of her own funds and quietly and effectively pulled others into the fight. 

To join Nita in support of ARCW click here.

Make A Promise - Event Breaks Revenue and Attendance Records

More than 1,000 guests gathered on Saturday, April 27, at the Make A Promise Gala and Auction, to dine, dance and raise funds for the fight against AIDS. This year’s event raised $297,000 for HIV health care, social services  programs and prevention efforts, surpassing the fundraising goal and breaking a record for the fourth straight year.

Held at Potawatomi Casino and Expo Center, the event’s theme, “The Promise is Roaring,” took inspiration from literary classic The Great Gatsby. Guests spent the evening in period revelry, transported back to the 1920s with a 17-piece orchestra, Charleston-dancers, classic cars, champagne and Batch 19 beer made from a pre-prohibition recipe discovered recently in the archives of MillerCoors.

Michael McCleary, an HIV patient and activist from Eau Claire; Nita Soref, a philanthropist from Milwaukee; and Diverse and Resilient, a leading HIV prevention organization, were  recognized  by ARCW at the event for their indelible contributions to the fight against AIDS in Wisconsin. 

“Michael, Nita and Diverse and Resilient have each left their outstanding mark on Wisconsin’s response to the AIDS epidemic. In their own way, each of them has made sure Wisconsin remains a national leader in the fight against AIDS, demonstrating how to proactively and compassionately address HIV in our communities,” ARCW President and CEO Mike Gifford said. “ARCW is proud to stand arm-in-arm with these outstanding leaders and honor them.

High Bidders Enjoy the Suite Life

At the 2013 Make A Promise Direct Supply was the winning buyer of the MillerCoors founder’s suite at Miller Park. On May 28th this group of winners got to enjoy front row reserved parking and throw out the first pitch for the Brewer's game against the Twins. Eight-year-old Luke, son of a Direct Supply employee, received the honors.

“It was a stunning evening indeed,” said Jeff Leypoldt of Direct Supply. “Direct Supply believes in ARCW and is a proud community sponsor of the Make A Promise event each year. It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of this special, stellar event.”

ARCW thanks MillerCoors for generously donating the founders suite at Miller Park, the Milwaukee Brewers and Brewers Community Foundation for donating the first pitch opportunity and to Direct Supply for their generous donation as winning bidder.

Mark Your Calendars

For information on any of these activities, please call 414-225-1517

June 24 – Witches' Night Off; Skylight Theatre, Milwaukee

June 25 – ARCW Board of Directors Meeting; ARCW, Milwaukee

June 27 – An Evening With ARCW for Former ARCW Board Members; ARCW, Milwaukee

Sept. 12 – An Evening With ARCW; Boldt Construction, Appleton

Oct. 5 – AIDS Walk Wisconsin; Summerfest Grounds,  Milwaukee