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January 07, 2003

Falat Basket Project Brings Holiday Cheer to 2500 Recipients

For the seventeenth year in a row, the Stephen J. Falat Basket Project brought holiday cheer to local hospitals, AIDS organizations, and people living with AIDS.

Dick Latessa and Harvey Fierstein kicked off the 2002 Project, which brought together Equity staff and other volunteers, including kids from Ridgefield High and Slocum Skewes Junior High. The volunteers collected and organized 2500 colorful shopping bags (aka "baskets"), filled them with candies, toiletries and various other goodies and essentials, and delivered them to area care organizations.

Basket recipients include The Actors’ Fund, The Aurora, Argus Community Access Program, Bailey-Holt House, Beth Israel Medical Center, SUNY Care for Kids Program, Minority Task Force on AIDS, Mount Sinai Hospital AIDS Center, St. Clare’s Hospital, St. Mary’s Center, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, VA Hospital, and Village Center for Care - AIDS Day Treatment.

Arne Gunderson, the Chairman of the Basket Project Committee, along with Committee members Austin Colyer, Jean-Paul Richard, Maureen Moore, Jeanne Lehman, and Joanne Borts thanked all the Project participants, especially Greg Kayne, Dianne Eyerman, John Fahey, and Ann Fortuno, as well as the anonymous benefactor who contributes a major portion of the Project budget each year.

Gunderson wrote: “I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much your participation means to us. To all of you, I give my love and admiration for all you have done this year. I know in my heart that Stephen smiles knowing how his 'little project' has grown.”

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