AIDS Assistance Program's 'Evening Under The Stars' 2016 Gala to Feature Classic Disco Group 'Village People'

January 28, 2016

AIDS Assistance Program – Food Samaritans (AAP) announces its 23nd annual Evening Under the Stars gala will feature a performance by music legends ‘Village People.’ The event will take place Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 5:30 PM at the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs.

Formed in 1977, Village People has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and recently received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Known for their high-energy shows and mega-hits like ‘YMCA’, ‘Macho Man’, ‘Go West’, and ‘In the Navy’, the group continues to tour and make appearances around the world.

“Continuing our tradition of providing great entertainment that gets people up and dancing, we’re bringing the iconic Village People to our village of Palm Springs for one magical night,” said Mark Anton, Executive Director of AIDS Assistance Program. “Their impact on music has earned them the title ‘Kings of Disco’ and these six talented men combine energetic choreography with outrageous fun. Their music will have everyone on their feet!”

Considered by many to be the unofficial finale of the desert social season, Evening Under the Stars was named ‘Best Annual Charity Event’ in the inaugural ‘Best of Coachella Valley’ reader’s poll sponsored by Coachella Valley Independent. AAP was also recently voted ‘Best Service-Oriented Charity/Non-profit’ in The Desert Sun/Desert Magazine’s ‘Best of the Valley’ competition, and Desert Outlook magazine’s Ultimate Pride competition.  In addition, Evening Under the Stars was voted ‘Most Fun Annual Fundraiser’ by voters in the Ultimate Pride competition. In conjunction with the organization’s Jeannette Rockefeller Angel Program, Evening Under the Stars provides the majority of funding for AAP’s food voucher program for low-income residents of the Palm Springs area living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses.

In addition to exciting entertainment and dancing, gala festivities will also include refreshing cocktails, delectable cuisine, and inspiring honorees. Tickets for the benefit, priced at $395 and $500 per person, are now available for purchase. Please call AIDS Assistance Program at 760-325-8481 or visit Individual VIP seats and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

The world-famous group was formed in 1977 in New York’s Greenwich Village and their early popularity was primarily in discothèques and gay clubs. That changed in 1978 when their single "Macho Man" brought them mainstream attention, and their follow-up single "Y.M.C.A." became one of the most popular hits of the 1970s. Not only is Village People a disco icon, they've also been credited with helping to bring ‘gay culture’ to the mainstream. In fact, the widely known "Y.M.C.A." dance was not created by the group; the kids from Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand' actually started the hand motions.

The group's fame peaked in 1979, when they made several appearances on The Merv Griffin Show and traveled with Bob Hope to entertain U.S. troops. Over the years Village People and their music has been a part of many television shows, movies, concert tours, and performances ranging from Jerry Lewis's Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon to the 7th inning stretch at Yankee Stadium during a Major League Baseball All Stars game. They have been featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, and in 2004, they performed as the opening act for Cher on her Farewell Tour.

Over the years Evening Under the Stars has featured the talents of a wide variety of entertainers. In 2014, an electrifying performance by the First Ladies of Disco – Linda Clifford, France Joli, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Maxine Nightingale, Pamala Stanley, Anita Ward, Martha Wash, and the ladies formerly of Chic: Alfa Anderson, Luci Martin, and Norma Jean – had everyone on their feet with an amazing night of 70’s dance music. Headliners Nell Carter, Tyne Daly, Melissa Manchester, Jane Oliver, Lorna Luft, Suzanne Somers, Bea Arthur, Barry Manilow, Nancy Wilson, Lily Tomlin and the entire remaining cast of Laugh In, Mary Wilson of The Supremes, Pink Martini, The B-52s, The Go-Go’s, Cyndi Lauper, and Darlene Love have all taken the stage in support of this very worthy cause.

Now in its 25th year of service to the community, AIDS Assistance Program of Palm Springs remains dedicated to providing nutritional support to improve the quality of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Initiated by a small group of concerned citizens led by the late Gloria Greene and Jeannette Rockefeller, AAP provides nutritional support to members of the community with low incomes. 

For more information, please call 760-325-8481 


25th Annual Softball Tournament Features LGBT Players, is Free to the Public

January 5, 2015

AIDS Assistance Program – Food Samaritans (AAP), in cooperation with the City of Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Gay Softball League, announces the 25th Annual Palm Springs Winter Classic Softball Tournament will take place February 12-14, 2016. The teams participating in the tournament, which benefits AAP, are members of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting amateur athletics for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Registration and a public opening reception will take place on Friday, February 12, 2016 from 7-10 pm at Hunter’s Nightclub, 302 East Arenas Road in Palm Springs. Throughout the weekend, teams will compete on several fields, including Demuth Park in Palm Springs and the Big League Dreams Sports Field in Cathedral City. All games are free to the public. Competition is open to a maximum of 80 teams in various divisions of play, and the tournament schedule will be posted at after January 25, 2016.

“This is a fun event for players and spectators, and the fact that it benefits AIDS Assistance Program makes it that much more rewarding for us,” says Vicki Oltean, Tournament Director. “We hope the public comes out to the opening reception at Hunter’s on Friday night to meet the athletes, buy souvenir shirts and support this 25-year tradition of softball in the desert.”

The ‘Winter Classic’ was established in 1991 as a fundraising event to help offset out-of-town tournament travel expenses for the Desert Heat Softball team members. Local host hotels have also agreed to donate 10% of that weekend’s proceeds to AAP. For more information, visit or call 760-323-8277.

Since its founding in 1991, AIDS Assistance Program – Food Samaritans remains dedicated to providing nutritional support to improve the quality of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS, and will expand its mission in 2016 to include other chronic illnesses. Initiated by a small group of concerned citizens led by the late Gloria Greene and Jeannette Rockefeller, AAP provides food vouchers to members of the community with low incomes. For more information, please call 760/325-8481.