November/December 2013

Unprecedented Gift by Will Radler Leads Pathway To Wellness

Announcement comes on National Philanthropy Day

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) will receive $1 million over the next three years from Will Radler to support expansion of psychiatry services for its patients. The gift, made possible through Radler’s donor-advised fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, was announced by ARCW President and CEO Mike Gifford on National Philanthropy Day on November 15th. The gift represents the largest donation ARCW has received from an individual donor and will transform the organization’s ability to deliver high quality, patient-centered health care.

"We are grateful to Will for his donation as it will help save the lives of our patients,” said ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gifford. “Will's generosity will allow ARCW to hire a full-time psychiatrist for our patients. The addition of this level of psychiatry care to be offered in our unique, patient-centered, medical home model will help further establish ARCW as a leading AIDS service organization in the United States. Will's gift is breaking down barriers to care and ensuring our patients have the best chance for long term survival with HIV."

“There is no health without mental health,” said Mr. Radler. “I am making this gift to the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin because I know mental health treatment is effective. I cannot imagine having HIV and mental health concerns and not having access to this sort of care. ARCW has proven to be a leader in the fight against AIDS and this is the sort of organization I want to invest in. I am proud to support ARCW.”

Radler has been an ally in the fight against HIV since 1992, when he made his first donation by buying a ticket to the ARCW Make A Promise gala.

A life-long rosarian, Radler built a successful business by carefully tending to dozens of lines of roses, working to hybridize them so that they can grow to their fullest potential. In 1988, Radler crossed two lines of roses hoping to bring out the best of each. The result should have been as many as 30 new rose seeds. However, this time only a single seed was produced that had a one-in-five chance of producing a rose plant. That single seed, lovingly cared for by Radler grew into the Knock Out Rose, now the most popular rose in the entire world.

“Will Radler’s act of individual generosity embodies the philanthropic spirit of our community. His gift to the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin will have a far-reaching effect in creating a place where everyone can thrive,” said Ellen Gilligan, President and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has been proud to partner with and support Will over many years to help him meet his charitable goals. We are honored to join him and ARCW to celebrate their positive impact in our community.”

Access to psychiatry care is one of the most pressing needs for HIV patients. As medical research continues to shed more light on the intersection of physical and psychological health, and especially on the documented connections between HIV infection and mental health challenges such as central nervous system impairment, dementia, pain, and mood disorders, the need for ARCW to enhance its mental healthcare services is vital to the health of ARCW patients.

"Today, more than half of all HIV patients confront mental health challenges that make achieving optimum health more difficult. Successfully managing HIV is made all the more difficult when patients are struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma and addiction," said Dr. Kevin Roeder, ARCW Director of Behavioral Health and Wellness. "Mental health challenges are common barriers our patients regularly face and make it hard for them to take medications exactly as prescribed or even attend doctor’s appointments regularly." 

By adding a total of 60 hours of psychiatrist time per week to ARCW clinical operations over the next three years, ARCW patients will have access to an integrated team of medical professionals who are specialists in identifying differences between physical and psychological causes of illness and helping create patient-centered care plans to overcome barriers to health. Psychiatrists specialized in HIV care, working as a part of ARCW patient care teams, can ensure psychotropic medications prescribed to ARCW patients will be effective to treat their mental health needs and not create potentially dangerous interactions.

A significant aspect of Radler’s gift is a challenge to other donors to support the hiring of additional psychiatrist time. Known as the “Pathway to Wellness” campaign, the challenge will be to raise an additional $70,000 per year over the next three years to add an additional 10 hours of psychiatry care at ARCW. Donors interested in participating in the Pathway to Wellness campaign should contact ARCW Chief Development Officer Dan Mueller at 414-225-1580.

Watch the ARCW Press Conference:

Press Coverage of the Gift:

Pathway To Wellness Campaign Launched

Challenge Campaign Stems From Landmark Gift

Will Radler’s unprecedented gift to ARCW will expand psychiatry services through the ARCW Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic from 12 to 52 hours per week. However, the vision of ARCW is to provide weekly access up to 60 hours of psychiatry care. In order to achieve this, ARCW is launching a challenge campaign.

The monetary goal of the Pathway To Wellness campaign is $210,000, which is to be raised within the next three years. The campaign was launched last Friday, National Philanthropy Day, during the press conference to announce the Radler gift.

“As part of his investment, Will Radler has challenged ARCW and its donors to raise the balance of these funds from additional gifts by existing ARCW donors or from totally new gifts to ARCW,” said Dan Mueller, ARCW Chief Development Officer. “We are still in the early stage of this campaign but earliest commitments are encouraging us that we can reach our $210,000 goal,” he said.

“To the good donors of ARCW and to the wealthy of Wisconsin who will listen, I hope this gift serves as inspiration for much more support for ARCW.” said Will Radler at the press conference. “While I’ve given ARCW quite a boost on providing psychiatry services, there is still more needed to get us to the desired 60 hours of care per week. I hope you will respond when ARCW calls on you because when you make a gift to ARCW you are investing in longer, healthier lives with HIV and because clearing a Pathway To Wellness feels great! This crisis is not over. Don’t turn away from it, return to it. Invest in it. There’s never been a better time because success can be achieved on so many levels now.”

To learn how you can participate in the Pathway To Wellness campaign, call ARCW at 414-225-1580.

Longtime Allies Donate to Connect ARCW Health Records

The AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) has received a $50,000 donation from Cary and Susie Silverstein through the Baye Foundation to help connect the electronic health records of patients who are receiving care in the dental and medical clinics operated by ARCW. This type of connectivity between clinical practice areas – which is critical to helping health and dental care providers deliver optimum care – is rarely implemented.

“Today, 78% of ARCW patients are successfully managing their HIV, compared to only 25% nationally,” said ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gifford. “With the generous support of Cary and Susie through their foundation, ARCW will be better able to deliver outstanding patient care and help more of our patients achieve this health care outcome.”

The Silversteins have been donors to ARCW since 1994.

This new electronic health record project at ARCW comes with a price tag of $100,000 and will ensure the nation’s largest and most comprehensive HIV clinic continues to provide high quality, patient-centered care to a constantly growing number of patients. Already a leader in HIV patient outcomes, ARCW has a strong commitment to quality assurance that further necessitates this heightened level of connectivity.

According to research published in 2011, and identified by the widely-acclaimed journal Science as its breakthrough of the year, HIV patients who are successful in managing their HIV are 96% less likely to transmit the virus to someone else, further establishing access to, and success in, HIV treatment as a public health imperative.

“ARCW is a national leader in delivering health care to HIV patients. Susie, her family and I are excited to be able to support their mission and work,” said Cary Silverstein. “We are delighted to be able to help make sure ARCW has the resources and infrastructure it needs to be successful.” “We know this is an investment in healthier lives for patients with HIV,” said Susie.

Cary and Susie, live in Fox Point, Wisconsin and have been donors to ARCW since 1994. A small business consultant and trainer, Cary Siverstein also is a feature writer for BizTimes Milwaukee and is President & CEO of SMA, LLC & The Negotiating Edge.

Jolly Holly Folly and White Christmas Creating Buzz Around Town

Tickets going fast to the November 26 event

Excitement is building for Jolly Holly Folly 2013, to be held November 26 at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Featuring signature tastings from more than 20 of the Milwaukee area’s most popular restaurants followed by an opening night performance of the Broadway hit musical, IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS, the event promises to be one of southeastern Wisconsin’s premier holiday parties for the 18th year in a row.

With the production in town for just a week, tickets to Jolly Holly Folly and White Christmas are very much in demand.

“This is definitely the event to attend this Season,” said ARCW Director of Special Events, Mary Hartwig. “With all the energy White Christmas is creating and the opportunity to partner on opening night with the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, this year’s Jolly Holly Folly will be one to remember.”

Scheduled for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, this year’s event is perfectly suited for both families and friends. Four or more tickets qualify the buyer for a lower ticket price.

Enjoy a sneak peak of this fabulous holiday show, which contains some of the greatest songs ever written, including “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “Sisters,” “Blue Skies,” and the unforgettable title song, “White Christmas.”

This year’s participating restaurants are: Bella Caffe, Blue’s Egg, Bosley on Brady, Cempazuchi, Classy Girl Cupcakes, Cubanitas, Divino Wine and Dine, Eat Cake, Firefly Urban Bar & Grill, HOM, Indulge, Juniper 61, La Perla, LuLu, Maxie’s, Metro, Mia Famiglia, Purple Door Ice Cream, Riverfront Pizzeria, Rumpus Room, RuYi, Sazama’s, the Soup Market, Transfer Pizza, Umami Moto and Via Downer.

Sponsors of Jolly Holly Folly are MillerCoors, Avita Drugs Pharmacy, Miller-St. Nazianz, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, the ARCW Pharmacy, Graphicolor, the Wisconsin Gazette and 88Nice Radio Milwaukee.

Tickets are $120 each ($100 per ticket if you purchase four or more) and include restaurant tasting, MillerCoors products and wine, and orchestra seating for White Christmas.  A full cash bar will also be available. Tickets must be purchased through the Marcus Center. The house is sold out, so the only way to be a part of opening night is to attend Jolly Holly Folly.

To purchase tickets, call Keri-Ayn Hough at the Marcus Center at 414.273.7121, ext. 213, or:
1. Visit
2. Create your account. The group code is: jollyholly
3. Click on the White Christmas logo
4. Order your tickets

Reserve your tickets today!


ARCW is pleased to welcome new sponsor Miller-St. Nazianz to Jolly Holly Folly. Founded in 1899 in St. Nazianz, WI, Miller has been providing quality equipment to farmers for five generations and is now a global leader in the manufacturing of agricultural machinery. Current President and CEO John W. Miller is the fifth generation Miller to lead the company.

Your Donation Provides Holiday Meals for HIV Patients and Clients

As you finalize your own Thanksgiving plans, please remember the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin’s 850 clients and their families who are in need of food this holiday season. Your support of our annual Holiday Food campaign is crucial to families like The Joerres Family, who would not have proper access to nutritious food or a holiday feast without the ARCW Food Pantry. Please make a generous gift today to provide some hope and comfort to our clients and their families this holiday season. Thank you!

On View at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Live HIV

Commemorating World AIDS Day 2013

The Milwaukee Art Museum honors World AIDS Day as it presents Taryn Simon’s photograph, Live HIV, on display this year from November 25 to December 8. A permanent collection acquisition, this artwork was made possible by Joseph Pabst and the Johnson & Pabst LGBT Humanity Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. The photograph was part of Simon’s exhibition “An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar.” In the photograph Simon takes the viewer into the HIV research lab at Harvard Medical School to see the virus up close in a way no one gets to see it. The inclusion of this photograph in her American Index gives rise to a statement that HIV has,  itself, grown hidden and unfamiliar. ARCW thanks Joseph Pabst and the Milwaukee Art Museum for this annual viewing.

Commitment to Fight Against AIDS Demonstrated as People From Throughout the State Gather for AIDS Walk Wisconsin

Inaugural 5K Run a Success

Nearly 2200 dedicated walkers, runners and volunteers from across Wisconsin came together to take a stand against HIV at the 24th annual AIDS Walk Wisconsin and 5K Run, held Saturday, October 5 on Milwaukee’s lakefront. More than $341,000 was raised for the fight against AIDS through the event, produced by the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW).

The enthusiastic crowd was energized by Honorary Chair and Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Stephanie Klett, who threw out exciting gifts from the stage, including a football autographed by Green Bay Packer Jordy Nelson, and shared a personal message.

“Thank you for walking, running, fundraising, teambuilding and helping people with HIV have a better life,” said Secretary Klett. “I walk today because for more than 21 years I have been a part of this fight…because the gorgeous state we call home has 72 diverse counties, and people with HIV have been diagnosed in all of them.”

Secretary Klett also greeted runners and walkers on the route, cheering them on and stopping for photos.

Among guests joining Stephanie on stage was AIDS Walk Wisconsin’s top fundraiser for the third straight year, Michael Bersch, who flew in from Arizona to participate in the event. When asked why he walked, Michael said “Being raised in Wisconsin I was taught that you need to share your time and energy to benefit others…Some of my closest friends have passed because of this epidemic and if fundraising efforts can assist with housing, medicine and other programs to help people with HIV live better, it’s all worth it. We each have ability to help others and this is the way I can do my part.”

This year’s event showcased both traditional and new activities. For the very first time, AIDS Walk Wisconsin added a 5K run.  Of the 108 runners, Gary Romesser from Indianapolis, IN took first place in the inaugural run. “It took me 63 years, but I finally took first place,” said Gary after crossing the finish line on the Summerfest Grounds. For complete race results, visit our website.

Also adding to the morning festivities, presenting sponsor Miller Lite provided samples of a variety of MillerCoors products for participants of legal age.

AIDS Walk Wisconsin’s Raising the Bar program, a fun competition between LGBT-friendly bars in Wisconsin set a record with 20 bars and taverns from Appleton, Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee and Sheboygan participating this year. For the second year in a row, Team D.I.X. from Milwaukee won the competition, raising more than $28,106. Since its inception in 2006, Raising the Bar has raised more than $288,000 to ensure access to HIV prevention, care and treatment programs for all who need them.

“Today is an important day in our quest for a world without AIDS,” said ARCW President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gifford, who ran the 5K. “AIDS Walk Wisconsin ensures everyone with HIV in Wisconsin has access to the health care and medicine they need to live long, healthy lives, regardless of their ability to pay.”

The ARCW Medical Center – Wisconsin’s largest and most comprehensive provider of high quality medical, dental, and mental health care for HIV patients – is the primary beneficiary of the money raised at AIDS Walk Wisconsin. Social services and HIV prevention programs are also supported by event, including those offered both at ARCW and at other organizations. Agencies benefiting from proceeds raised at this year’s event were: AIDS Network; Common Ground Ministry/Elena’s House; Fair Wisconsin; the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center; the City of Milwaukee Health Department; One Heartland; Richard’s Place; and the Sheboygan County AIDS Taskforce.

Wisconsin businesses continued their strong philanthropic support for the fight against AIDS at AIDS Walk Wisconsin 2013 as well. MillerCoors served as Presenting Sponsor for the 24th year and was joined by Grand Sponsor the Brewers Community Foundation. Additional sponsors include:  SC Johnson, American Family Insurance, the Green Bay Packers, Dynacare, Weyco Group, Hayat Pharmacy, Arketype, Wisconsin Gazette, Fox 6, Shepherd Express, Clear Channel Outdoor, the Onion, KISS FM, Culligan, Starbucks, Milwaukee County Parks, Central Bark, Performance Running Outfitters, Pete’s Fruit Market, Kingfish, P&N Promotions, PrideFest Milwaukee, Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Elements Massage.

Plans are already underway for next year’s 25th anniversary celebration of AIDS Walk Wisconsin and 5K Run, which already has provided more than $11.4 million in crucial support for HIV prevention, care and treatment programs in our state from 119,000 cumulative registrants.

ARCW Adds Three New Videos to Website

ARCW has added three additional videos showcasing the work we do in leading the fight against AIDS.

1.) Mental health and wellness programs at ARCW are vital to the overall health of our patients.  In this video, Dr. Kevin Roeder talks about the Behavioral Health and Wellness Clinic in the ARCW Medical Center and how it’s helping patients overcome barriers to health.

2.) With new HIV infections disproportionately impacting gay men and communities of color, ARCW remains committed to stopping the spread of HIV through aggressive prevention programs. Watch this video with Scott Stokes, ARCW Director of Prevention and learn more about our efforts to stop new infections.

3.) Public policy advocacy is still a critical part of the fight against AIDS.  Watch this video with ARCW Vice President of Government and Public Relations Bill Keeton and learn more about the history of advocacy in the fight against AIDS and how you can lend your voice to supporting HIV prevention, care and treatment.

Mark Your Calendars

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

Monday, November 25 to Friday, December 8 - Taryn Simon's Live HIV on view at the Milwaukee Art Museum

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 – Jolly Holly Folly (Milwaukee)

Sunday, December 1, 2013 – World AIDS Day

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Red Ribbon Patron Luncheon (Milwaukee)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - The Remedy (La Crosse)

Saturday, April 26, 2014 - Make A Promise (Milwaukee)

Saturday, October 4, 2014 - AIDS Walk Wisconsin & 5K Run 25th Anniversary