Mickey Rooney, AHF to Honor ‘Our Champion, Elizabeth Taylor,’ for AIDS Work at May 6th Ft. Lauderdale Gala

VIP reception and store dedication by Mickey Rooney and AIDS Healthcare Foundation to Elizabeth Taylor for her work on behalf of people with AIDS. (ceremony includes unveiling of brass plaque, ‘Our Champion, Elizabeth Taylor’)

Friday, May 6, 2011

7 p.m. – 10 p.m. (VIP Reception & Dedication)

(NOTE: store will officially open to the general public Saturday, May 7th, at 10 a.m.)

AHF’s Out of the Closet/Sunrise and AHF Pharmacy
1785 East Sunrise Blvd. (cross street: Federal Hwy)
Ft. Lauderdale FL 33304


Mickey Rooney, Hollywood legend & Elizabeth Taylor’s ‘National Velvet’ co-star

Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Michael Kahane, AHF Bureau Chief, Southern Region, US


Ged Kenslea, AHF Communications Director, mobile 323-791-5526

Mark Martin, Southern Regional Director, Community Relations & Development, US, mobile 954-383-8007


* Media — please call for credentialing for Friday’s VIP reception/dedication
* B-ROLL — Mickey Rooney in person; photos and movie posters from throughout Taylor’s life and career on display throughout the store; ‘National Velvet’ film clip available
* Formal unveiling of a 30” x 12” brass plaque honoring, ‘Elizabeth Taylor, Our Champion’

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will mark the opening of its newest ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store and AHF Pharmacy on Sunrise Boulevard in Ft. Lauderdale with a gala VIP reception featuring Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney this Friday, May 6th, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the facility (1785 Sunrise Boulevard at Federal Highway). Rooney, who will turn 91 in September, will be on hand to help dedicate AHF’s new facility to his lifelong friend and former co-star Elizabeth Taylor, in whose memory AHF is dedicating this thrift store and pharmacy in honor of her fearless advocacy and tireless fundraising on behalf of people with AIDS throughout her life. (NOTE: the new OTC thrift store and AHF Pharmacy will officially open for business the next morning, Saturday, May 7th, at 10 a.m.).

“AIDS Healthcare Foundation is honored to dedicate our newest ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store and AHF Pharmacy in the heart of Ft. Lauderdale in memory and honor of our champion, Elizabeth Taylor, in the fight against AIDS,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “Long before it was fashionable, she was there by our side. Taylor holds a special place in the hearts of people with AIDS and their supporters, and we recognize and honor her efforts on our behalf through this new facility. We are also privileged to have her good friend and former co-star, Mickey Rooney, with us to help dedicate this site and celebrate Taylor, her remarkable life and her accomplishments in the fight against HIV and AIDS.”

As part of the tribute to Taylor, AHF’s new Out of the Closet/Sunrise thrift store will also feature an Elizabeth Taylor design theme; large classic photos and movie posters of the star — including with ‘National Velvet’ childhood co-star Rooney — will decorate the store. In addition, during the gala VIP reception Friday night, a 30-inch-by-12-inch bronze plaque with a photo of Taylor and the inscription, ‘Elizabeth Taylor, Our Champion’ will be unveiled.

Mickey Rooney was already a major Hollywood movie star when he performed with 12-year-old Taylor in what became her breakthrough role in the iconic 1944 film, ‘National Velvet,’ a role that made her a star. Taylor went on to an illustrious Hollywood career that brought her two best actress Academy Awards as well as the Academy’s prestigious Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (1993) for her AIDS work.

Rooney has been nominated for five Academy Awards and is the winner of one. He has five Emmy nominations and one win and has won two Golden Globes. Over his lifetime Rooney has also been honored with four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“Ninety-six cents of every dollar raised through our Sunrise store will benefit AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s prevention, treatment and education programs in Broward County and statewide,” said Michael Kahane, Bureau Chief, Southern Region for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. ““Whether donating merchandise, using our pharmacy, shopping or getting a free HIV test, the people of Ft. Lauderdale and surrounding areas who utilize this facility help ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS receive the medical care and services they may need.”

The new Out of the Closet/Sunrise store and AHF Pharmacy will officially open to the general public at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7th, the morning after the gala Mickey Rooney/VIP reception. The store will then be open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. / Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free HIV testing hours at the site will be Saturday & Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. / Monday – Friday 2 to 7 p.m.

“The state of Florida is third highest in the nation as far as cumulative AIDS cases, and there remains an urgent and ongoing need for effective and sustained HIV prevention and education measures,” said James Vellequette, Associate Director, Public Health Division for the Southern Bureau for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AHF is glad to be a contributing partner in the effort to address the region’s epidemic by offering free HIV testing at our new ‘Out of the Closet’ Sunrise store in this convenient, community-based setting.”

Saturday’s festive store opening will offer the chance for shoppers to be among the first to discover the unique finds and hidden treasures for which ‘Out of the Closet’ is famous. On opening day, free HIV testing will also be offered from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in one of AHF’s free mobile HIV testing vans parked conveniently outside the store. (Note: free HIV testing hours will then be offered Saturday & Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. / Monday – Friday 2 to 7 p.m.).

With twenty-one other locations throughout California and Florida, AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s popular and award-winning ‘Out of the Closet’ thrift store chain is the nation’s largest retail fundraising vehicle for HIV/AIDS medical care and research. The new Ft. Lauderdale location is the fourth ‘Out of the Closet’ to open in Florida; other Florida stores are in Wilton Manors, Biscayne Boulevard in Miami and Alton Road in South Beach). This site will also be home to the newest AHF Pharmacy, a full-service facility staffed with pharmacists who specialize in HIV/AIDS medications (as well as general pharmacy services), providing clients with access to the additional specialists, medications and services they need to be as healthy as possible.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and services to more than 157,000 individuals in 26 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific region and Eastern Europe. www.aidshealth.org

In FLORIDA, AHF serves more than 15,000 Floridians living with HIV/AIDS through a variety of programs, including free HIV testing and prevention programs; HIV/AIDS health care centers located in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Jacksonville, eight AHF Pharmacies located throughout the state, a statewide disease management program; and its Positive Healthcare Managed Care program.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Media Contact:
Ged Kenslea, 323-308-1833
AHF Communications Director
mobile: 323-791-5526
FLORIDA Contact:
Mark Martin, 954-818-4337
Southern Regional Director, Community Relations & Development, US
mobile: 954-383-8007

Spread the love!