Last night I was humbled to be in room full of heroes, colleagues and "AIDS Warriors" at Bailey House 30th Anniversary Auction & Gala - and honored to received a 2013 First Decade Award in the name of Visual AIDS, along with so many important organizations and individuals in the fight against AIDS, including:

Matt Baney, St Vincent's Hospital • Mark Beard, Bailey House • Jeannetta Bushey, Bailey House • Richard Burns, LGBT Center • Gordon Campbell, NYC AIDS Serviceds • Kevin Cathcart, Lamdba Legal • David Cockcroft, Bailey House • Ted Dawson, Judson Church • Tom Duane, NY State Senate • Sharen Duke, AIDS Service Center • Richard Elovich • David France, How to Survive a Plague • Donna Futterman, MD, Adolescent AIDS Program Montefiore Medical Center • Howard Grossman, MD, Bailey House • David Hansell, GMHC • Kelsey Louis, Harlem United?Upper Room AIDS Ministry • Ron Johnson, Minority Task Force on AIDS • Charles King, Housing Works • Mathilde Krim, amFAR • Daniel Leyva, Latino Caommission on AIDS • Therese Rodriguez, APICHA • Michael Seltzer • Victoria Sharp, MD, Comprehensive Care • Ginny Shubert, Housing Works • Karen Pearl, Ganga Stone, God's Love We Deliver • Joy Tomchin, GMHC • Anthony Trichitella, Bailey House.

I got a chance to speak to Alan Cumming and Grant Shaffer about old boyfriends and new suits, before Alan received the Arts & Legacy Award. Tom Viola also gave a very moving speech when he along with Dean LaBate, Richard Haymes, John Hatchett, Ken Fornataro and Rona Affoumado received the Rodger McFarlan AIDS Warrior Award.

After the award ceremony, I bumped into Oriol Gutierrez of POZ magazine, Andrew Greene from Housing Works, and "Junior" our beloved elevator operator at the West Chelsea Art Building, among others who were placing bids on donated artworks and gift packages. I admit, in the spirit of the moment, I couldn't help but put a bid on a small blue painting of this wild creature by Laurie Hogin. With a title like “What Ails Us: The 100 Most Prescribed Pharmaceuticals in the Nation: #110-Lipitor”, how could I resit.

- Nelson Santos, Executive Director