2018 Celebration of Life

31st Annual Celebration of Life Thanksgiving Dinner

Tuesday, November 20, 5:30 PM
Hynes Convention Center

Guest reservations are open. You can register online here, RSVP at the front desk of the BLC or call 617-236-1012

A small group of friends gathered to celebrate the holidays in 1988 at the home of Kevin George. Everyone at the gathering had one thing in common, they were living with the as yet unknown disease soon to be identified as HIV/AIDS. Among the attendees was Peter Daniel Clark, a founding member of the Boston Living Center and the man who would turn this informal gathering of hopeful celebrants into an annual tradition, a “Celebration of Life” to provide light and community even in the darkest of times.

Over the years, what started as a modest gathering has turned into a community-wide event. More than 30 years later, our “Celebration of Life” is still free for people living with HIV/AIDS. Attendees are encouraged to bring up to two loved ones to enjoy a sit-down, family style Thanksgiving dinner, live entertainment, a community resource fair, and more! Please join us on Tuesday, November 20 as we celebrate another year and give thanks for friends and community.

Our Largest Fundraiser for Vital Services at the Boston Living Center

In addition to giving guests an important opportunity to catch up with old friends and celebrate the holidays, Celebration of Life is also the biggest fundraiser of the year to support important services at the Boston Living Center like peer support, educational workshops, and the food and nutrition program at the very heart of the Center. 

For many members, the Center feels like home and the community there provides a break from the isolation so common for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. More than half report that the weekday meals served in the communal dining room are their primary, or secondary source of nutrition.

This year, our goal is to raise more than $140,000 through individual gifts, corporate sponsorships, and the “TIPS” from our volunteer servers who each pledge to raise at least $300!

Please click here to learn more about corporate sponsorships or contact Anu Parikh, Assistant Director of Development, at aparikh@vpi.org or  617-541-0222 x 649.

Every year, a very special team of volunteers serves the traditional, sit-down meal for our guests and commits to collecting a minimum of $300 in donations for the Boston Living Center prior to the event. Our “TIPS” goal this year is $37,000 and out top three fundraisers will receive special prizes for their efforts on behalf of BLC members!

Please click here or contact Eve Rabinowitz, Special Events Manager at erabinowitz@vpi.org or 617-541-0222 x 647 to become a “TIPS” volunteer and set up your personal or team fundraising page.

Volunteering at the Celebration of Life goes beyond just our special “TIPS” servers. The Celebration of Life relies on more than 200 volunteers to help with set-up, greeting guests, check-in, coat-check, and more! We even have a steady stream of local celebrities and elected officials! Volunteers enjoy a full-course meal after guests are served. This is a great opportunity for individuals and groups!

If you would like to volunteer for the Celebration of Life please contact Tammy Blocker at tblocker@vpi.org or 617-236-1012 x 227.

Peter Daniel Clark Award

Peter Daniel Clark was a founding member of the Boston Living Center and one of the individuals at the very first Celebration of Life gathering. Peter passed away in 1992 of AIDS-related complications, however, he still holds an important place in the Boston Living Center family. Each year we present the Peter Daniel Clark award to individuals or organizations dedicated to advocating on behalf of and serving the HIV/AIDS community.

This year’s honoree will be Dawn Fukuda, Director of the Office of HIV/AIDS at the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Science at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Dawn has made working to end the spread of HIV/AIDS her life’s work. Prior to working at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Dawn worked for AIDS Action Committee and Jordan Hospital. She has a long history of advocacy work and of promoting prevention services. Dawn maintains strong relationship with members of the community, providers, and advocates working to shed light on the current state of HIV/AIDS in the Commonwealth.

Brenda Bellizeare “BIG” Better It Gets Award

Brenda Bellizeare was a staff member and member of the Boston Living Center. She was also a powerful voice for the HIV/AIDS community. She used her experiences to help shape services for others living with HIV/AIDS and to provide powerful advocacy on behalf of her peers. In honor of Brenda, we present an annual Brenda Bellizeare “BIG” Better It Gets award to a Boston Living Center member who, like Brenda, has inspired others and whose journey is going to keep getting better.

Photos from the 2017 Celebration of Life

30th Annual Celebration of Life Holiday Party for the HIV/AIDS community

Thank you to our Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Elite Sponsors


Gold Sponsors


Silver Sponsors



Bronze Sponsors


In-Kind Sponsors


Special Sponsors