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

  • 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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  • National HIV Testing Day is June 27, May 19, 2017

    HIV testing is the only way to know for sure if someone has HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the more than 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States today, 1 in every 7 is not aware of their positive status. That means they aren’t getting the […]

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  • 35th Annual AIDS Candlelight Memorial is Sunday May 21, May 2, 2017

    The 35th International AIDS Candlelight Memorial will be commemorated worldwide on Sunday May 21, 2017. This year’s local event will take place at the Historic Y, located at 300 East University Blvd, from 6:30-7:30pm.  This is a free event and open to the public. This year’s event will include a multi-faith blessing; performances; a moment […]

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  • Stonewall Foundation to fund Endowment for SAAF’s Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th, April 14, 2017

    The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) has been awarded funding from the locally-based Stonewall Foundation to support the Thornhill Lopez Center on 4th- A SAAF Place for Youth. This annual funding is in perpetuity and will help fund renovations at the Center in the initial year of funding while establishing and growing the Stonewall Foundation […]

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  • SAAF Volunteer Appreciation Event is April 27, April 5, 2017

    SAAF will once again shine the spotlight on our wonderful volunteers at our annual Volunteer Appreciation event. This year’s event will take place during National Volunteer Week, on Thursday April 27, 2017; from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Y. Dinner will be catered by Carte Blanche catering, served by SAAF employees followed by […]

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