NASHVILLE, TN — Nashville CARES celebrated its 35th year of serving residents in Nashville and Middle Tennessee with a virtual Celebration of Hope Gala on Saturday, Aug. 22, live-streamed from the soon-to-open, National Museum of African American Music located in downtown Nashville. The gala, hosted by actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, featured a silent auction, scholarship announcement and a virtual dinner.

“Nashville CARES has continued to fight the battle against HIV/AIDS in our community, and we are excited to be able to celebrate our triumphs and successes through the Celebration of Hope Gala,” said Nashville CARES CEO Amna Osman, MPA. “We hope this virtual experience provided a fun night for our attendees and honorees while also following the city’s guidelines for hosting events.”

The gala is Nashville CARES’ largest fundraiser of 2020, and money raised will support critical programs for people living with HIV and those as risk as well as work toward a new Nashville CARES HIV/STD clinic focused on testing and treating HIV and hepatitis C.

 For the price of admission, gala guests received a virtual swag bag, including links for the VIP reception, silent auction items and the opportunity to enjoy unique entertainment acts. They also received Uber Eats and Grubhub meal vouchers to order dinner delivery from their favorite local restaurant.

The Celebration of Hope Gala host Sheryl Lee Ralph is best known for her roles as Deena Jones in the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls,” for which she received a Tony Award nomination. In addition to “Dreamgirls,” Ralph has appeared in countless other shows and movies, such as “Moesha” and “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.”  

Nashville CARES honored community leaders Dr. James Hildreth of Meharry Medical School and Dr. David Aronoff of Vanderbilt Medical School. They also honored corporate partners Bridgestone and DELL, philanthropic partners Iris Buhl and James R. Kelley, and community partners Rev. James Sanders and Meharry Medical College.

Nashville CARES is an advocacy and education organization focused on ending HIV/AIDS in Middle Tennessee serving 17 counties throughout Middle Tennessee, providing educational resources, free and confidential testing, advocacy, and other vital services.

In 2019, Nashville CARES served more than 50,000 Middle Tennesseans living with or at risk of HIV/AIDS and administered more than 10,000 tests. Despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nashville CARES continues to deliver essential services by embracing new techniques and technologies. Many HIV/AIDS patients in Middle Tennessee rely on the resources we provide. Of every dollar donated to Nashville CARES, 95 cents go directly toward direct client care. Nashville CARES is a partner in the national effort to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. More than 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV, and an estimated 40,000 more will be diagnosed each year. To learn more, visit, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.