Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Academy of Friends to toast Oscar nominees

Academy of Friends is having a party Thursday, January 26 to toast this year’s Academy Award nominees and raise money.

Through its pricey annual galas, the San Francisco nonprofit has raised more than $8 million for Bay Area HIV and AIDS charities over the years.

This week’s event is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at The Bubble Lounge, 714 Montgomery Street, San Francisco. AOF beneficiaries, underwriters, and corporate sponsors can get in for free. For everyone else, tickets are $20.

This year’s AOF Oscar gala is Sunday, February 26, the night winners of the famous movie awards are announced. This year’s nominees include George Clooney for best actor in The Descendants and Meryl Streep for best actress in The Iron Lady.

AOF board Chair Howard Edelman said his nonprofit got its own reason to celebrate when the retailer Nordstrom said this week that they’d provide $50,000 in corporate sponsorship money, as they did last year.

Nordstrom’s $50,000 pledge means AOF has raised almost all of the $150,000 they’ve budgeted for the gala.

“We’re pretty much right where we need to be,” Edelman said.

The nonprofit plans to use money from corporate sponsors and underwriters to pay for the Oscar night party, while funds from raffle and gala ticket sales, along with silent auction proceeds, are intended to be split among AOF’s beneficiaries.

“We have other expenses to always contend with, but we’re in a great position right now to ensure the money raised goes where it belongs,” Edelman said.

This year’s partners are Huckleberry Youth Programs, Maitri, Shanti, and Women’s HIV Program at UCSF. Tenderloin Health has agreed to be a partner this year, but the agency recently announced its’ closing, and it’s not clear what their involvement with AOF will be.

Recent years have seen trouble for AOF, with the agency shortchanging beneficiaries by a total of $150,000. But Edelman, who took the lead at the organization in June, has been working with others to turn things around.

Tickets for the gala, themed “Scandalous,” are $250 if purchased in advance. The event begins at 5 p.m., Sunday, February 26, and will be held at the San Francisco Design Center Galleria, 101 Henry Adams Street.

Nordstrom staff didn’t respond to an email this afternoon requesting confirmation of their pledge. Other corporate sponsors so far include Gold’s Gym and

For more information, visit

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 25, 2012 @ 5:59 pm PST
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