Red Ribbon Ball 2016

By Lynne Hendricks
Red Ribbon Ball 2016 picture

About That Night:

Saturday 10 December 2016, The Red Ribbon Foundation held its Third Annual Red Ribbon Ball and Dorian Basson and his team put together yet another spectacular event. The Red Ribbon Ball is not your average fundraiser, it is in fact a platform where the plight of those affected and infected by HIV are highlighted, where those who have lost the fight are remembered.

The night was filled with live entertainment from various local artist such as Earl Deetlefs, Zeldene McDonald, Natalia De Roche, Signature SA and Ruby Truter. The outgoing Ambassador for the Red Ribbon Foundation 2014-2016, Salome Damon Johansen also graced the stage and helped welcome the new Ambassador for 2016 - 2018 London Louw, who graciously took on the responsibility given to him. The task of the MC and auctioneer was given to non-other than the energetic and bubbly Solly Philander.  

The highlight of the evening, as per usual was the guest speaker, as the Red Ribbon Foundation each year provides a platform for one person infected with HIV, the opportunity to break the silence and share their story. This year was no different from another but for one aspect, as the first year, the Red Ribbon Foundation called upon Faghmeda Miller to share her story and last year Barbara Kingsley bravely shared her story and battle with HIV. On Saturday evening Faghmeda was awarded the Faghmeda Miller HIV Activist Award 2016, for her active role working in the field of HIV/AIDS and seeking opportunities to break down the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

Another special award was awarded to Nathan Kayser. He received ‘The LOVE BEYOND HIV/AIDS’ Activist Award, for displaying unconditional love and support to individuals infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, for his actions to continue breaking down the divisions caused by the HIV/AIDS stigma with the unconditional love he shows others.   

The honour went to the special guest this year, as he was the bravest by far, as he the founder member of The Red Ribbon Foundation, Dorian Basson, graced the stage and shared his haunting story. Something that he hadn’t shared with many people before and felt that it was time that he did. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, as he finished his speech and Zeldene McDonald rendered her version of ‘Lean on Me’.

The HIV virus has significant effects on those infected, but the stigma attached to HIV and AID’s has a greater effect on those infected and affected, as it often isolates them from the rest of the societies they live in. The Red Ribbon Foundation aims to 1 break the Silence, 2 remove the Stigma, 3 open up the Conversation with regards to living a health, fruitful life with HIV.

Let’s salute all those infected and affected, who selflessly work at The Red Ribbon Foundation and help them to spread the word, by helping them break the silence and stigma that sill today haunts those infected by HIV…

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