Letter From The Executive Director

May, 2004

Dear Friends:

Thank you for supporting the work of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Whether you are one of our much appreciated major donors, a member of New York theatre community, or one of our valued corporate sponsors – I deeply appreciate your support.

In the spring of 1987, the first Easter Bonnet Competition was presented in the basement of the Palace Theatre and raised $18,000. BC/EFA didn’t even exist at the time. Pages could be written to compare then to now. In our immediate neighborhood, there is no more startling comparison than that of the dangerous, grimy Times Square /42nd Street of then, and the bustling, bright Times Square and theatre district of today. This spring 2004, 3,600 people gathered over two performances at The New Amsterdam Theatre, as the theatre community celebrated raising over $3.4 million in six week of fundraising

In the last 16 years, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has grown from two fledgling, well-intended groups of folks eager to do something…anything… in response to the desperate needs of those then suffering with AIDS to a $10 million a year foundation that continues to reach out to people with AIDS, as well as supporting similar services for women in crisis, the disenfranchised, the hungry and many more who will never have the opportunity to sit in this extraordinary theatre – or who may actually work here but find themselves in some kind of personal crisis.

Although the situations and statistics surrounding those living with AIDS have changed mightily since our earliest fundraising efforts, never has there been the need for a continued sustained response to those in crisis than now. Election year politics, economic and job uncertainty for many and the on-going conflict in Iraq has diverted attention and limited resources away from vital social programs and services. Our support for the programs of The Actors’ Fund and for over 450 AIDS and family service organizations across the country has never been more important – because those very organizations have never had more people looking for help, advice and support.

Simply said, for all social service agencies times are very difficult.

But in just the last six months – because of your support, BC/EFA has provided:

1)Over $1.5 million of funding to The Actors’ Fund for The AIDS Initiative, The Women’s Health Initiative and other essential programs

2)An additional grant of $200,000 was made to fund the expansion in June of The Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic at The Aurora – where last year over 1,700 received medical services free of charge.

3)$1.9 million has been distributed in financial grants to 469 local AIDS and family services throughout the country, as well as another $335,000 to the 22 nationally recognized agencies providing leadership in service and advocacy related issues. Later on this month – the National Grants Committee will meet to award another $1.9 million that will be awarded over the summer.

4)We have targeted our resources to the neediest people by making food banks and meal service programs our top grant-making priority.

Whether you have written a check for $25 or $2,500, offered corporate support, signed dozens of theatrical posters, manned the buckets in theatre lobbies or given BC/EFA the invaluable permissions necessary to do these things on-site in theatres on and off Broadway and across the nation – you make our work possible. And in doing so, have helped BC/EFA make a difference.

On behalf of tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of social service organizations, I thank you.



Tom Viola
Executive Director