Wingspan Honorees

The Jean Baker Community Ally Award

Richard Elias

Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias

Richard Elías has represented District Five on the Pima County Board of Supervisors since February 2002. He works for and is a vocal advocate for the Sonoran Desert, for affordable housing, for eliminating health-care disparities, for nurturing the development of our youth, for quality education, and for social justice and equity. He seeks to bring everyone together in a spirit of community cooperation to enhance our quality of life.

Richard, a Democrat, entered public office after a lengthy career in the government and non-profit development of affordable housing. He earned a degree in History, with a minor in Mexican-American Studies, from the University of Arizona. He is married to Emily Velde Elías and they have a daughter, Luz.

The Godat Award

Kent Burbank

Kent Burbank

Kent Burbank has worked in the fields of human services and social change for the past couple decades. He currently serves as the Director of the Victim Services Division of the Pima County Attorney’s Office where he oversees a staff of 28 employees and more than 100 volunteers who provide crisis intervention and criminal justice advocacy to victims of crime and trauma.  In recognition of his work on behalf of crime victims, including those impacted by the January 2011 Tucson Tragedy, Kent was honored with the 2011 Arizona Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award and the 2013 National Crime Victims’ Service Award.

Previously, Kent served as the Executive Director of Wingspan for six years, helping grow the organization by strengthening existing anti-violence and youth services, while creating new a new health and wellness program, services to seniors, and political advocacy.  For his work at Wingspan, Kent was recognized by the Arizona Human Rights Fund (now Equality Arizona) in 2006 and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona in 2014.

Kent holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago, as well as a Master’s of Divinity from Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Kent is an occasional faculty associate for Arizona State University’s School of Social Work and has participated in numerous community organizations, including the Arizona Coalition for Victim Services, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, Child and Family Resources, and the University of Arizona LGBT Advisory Council.

Kent has been in a committed relationship with his husband, Vicente Talanquer, for the past 20 years.  They adopted their sons, Martín, age 15, and Daniel, age 13, over six years ago.  Kent and Vicente were plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal successful lawsuit challenging Arizona’s ban on marriage equality.

The Steve Hall Award

Rick Jorgenson

Rick Jorgenson

My father was a jeweler/watchmaker who owned his own business and mom joined him after her family-raising years were over.  I graduated in 1969 from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN with a BA degree in Russian Area Studies (language, history, culture, etc).  I spent all of my life in Minnesota except for some travel during college years which included trips to Western Europe, mainly Italy, and then a trip to the Soviet Union in January (brrr!) of 1969.  After college I spent 4 years in the Air Force which included a 13-month tour of duty in South Korea.

My work career began as a computer programmer in 1975 and lasted for 10 years when I moved laterally into more office support functions.  I moved to Tucson in 2004 after being ‘downsized’ from Honeywell in Minnesota after 12 years of employment there.

My greatest interests in life are classical music and foreign language studies.  Here in Tucson, I belong to a Meetup Group called Italians in Tucson since my Italian is in the best working order of the languages I’m familiar with.

I became involved with Wingspan almost immediately by teaching Saturday morning computer classes in basic computer skills such as email and word processing, mainly to seniors and others who were unfamiliar with computers.  And that, I guess, has led to my involvement with Senior Pride over the ensuing years.  After the economic downturn in 2008, Senior Pride was forced to become a completely volunteer program which is how it began in the first place.  Hopefully, someday there will be a chance to restore it to a major Wingspan program with a staff member in place.

News and Events

  • Share the Love with SAAF’s Home-Bound Clients, December 26, 2018

    Did you know that 92% of SAAF’s Food Program participants have extremely low and very low incomes and rely on our programs not just to avoid hunger, but to receive appropriate, nutrient-dense foods necessary to maintain their health and prevent HIV disease symptoms and medication side effects? Individuals living with HIV and their families face […]

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  • SAAF Stands with Transgender Community, October 25, 2018

    Press Release for Immediate Release October 25, 2018 Based on news reports over the weekend, the Trump administration is working to dramatically roll back protections for transgender students by narrowing the definitions of sex and gender under Title IX that our courts have used to provide protections for LGBTQ+ people. It is reported that the […]

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  • 30th AIDSWALK Touches the Hearts of Hundreds, October 23, 2018

    On the morning of Sunday, October 14th, 2018 hundreds of people gathered early in Downtown Tucson to show their support for the 30th Annual AIDSWALK Tucson. Everyone has a different reason for walking, some very personal while others walk due to a strong sense of community.  No matter the reason, the presence of approximately 500 […]

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  • Call for 2019 Out Brunch Community Award Nominations, August 23, 2018

    The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) is proud to announce the community nomination period for the 2019 Out Brunch Community Awards. The Out Brunch Community Awards recognize and celebrate the work and dedication of three exceptional community members.  Nominations open August 23, 2018 and close September 21, 2018.  The awards will be given at the […]

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  • AIDSWALK Tucson Registration Now Open, June 28, 2017

    The 29th Annual AIDSWALK Tucson may still be 3 months away, but it is never too early to register and start fundraising! Join your friends and family (and your four-legged friends, too) for a walk to fight stigma and hate in our community. We’ll see you on October 15 for another amazing year of AIDSWALK […]

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The mission of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is to cultivate a healthy and stigma-free society through transformative action.