Every year over 150 people sign up to volunteer for one of Telluride’s biggest winter events, the Telluride AIDS Benefit (or TAB). Thousands of hours are poured into the event that has become a staple in Telluride’s winter calendar.
The benefit originated in 1994 as a way for Telluride locals Kandee DeGraw and Robert Presley to help the Western Colorado AIDS Project (WestCap) with paying medical expenses of those infected with AIDS. Telluride proved to be passionate about the cause raising $12,000 in their first year.
Today, TAB provides unrestricted benefits to four AIDS organizations in Colorado and another three in Africa. These funds are used for education, patient care, and prevention as well as costs of transportation to medical appointments.
The event kicks off this year on February 19th at Palm Theater with a student show that has been choreographed, directed, and starring students from Telluride High School. All the proceeds from this show go towards TEB’s educational programs, and all the costumes from the show will be available for purchase at the Sample Sale on February 29th.
On February 25th, there will be a Sneak Peak Fashion Show at Telluride Conference Center that blends the feel of any high end fashion week with the theatrics of a circus. The show features all local models and has raised more than two million dollars since it’s inception in 1994. Following the show there will be a live auction.
The Art Auction on the 26th is always a favorite of the benefit. This silent auction at Sheridan Opera House Gallery includes drawings, paintings, furniture, photography, jewelry, fabric art, and home furnishings accessories that have been donated by national and local artists. Denver’s Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program (CHIP) also contributes artwork created by their patients and their families.
The Gala Fashion Show at Telluride Convention Center is the crown jewel of the benefit. The February 27th show features international fashion designers and local models. It is a truly unique show that blends fashion with Cirque de Soleil style theatrics. All proceeds go towards HIV/AIDS advocacy, education, and clinical care in Colorado and Africa. Following the show there will be a live auction.
Wrapping up the week of fun, education, and awareness is an after party on February 27th with DJ Ruckus at Sheridan Opera House! He has been referred to as “the most sought after DJ in the world” by GQ magazine and has entertained the likes of P. Diddy. This is your opportunity to party with this DJ that has been headlining since he was sixteen.
The final event in this weeklong benefit is the Sample Sale on February 29th at Sheridan Opera House. Here all the remaining clothing items from the fashion show will be sold at a fraction of their value to benefit TAB. You will also have the opportunity to purchase work directly from designers that will be present.
Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to make a difference in your community and have a blast doing it. Not only is Telluride AIDS Benefit changing lives all over Colorado and Africa, but it has easily become one of Telluride’s most attend events.