Broadway star to perform at Ryan White Program fundraiser for HIV care

May 2, 2018 | Events, News, UToday, Advancement
By Ashley Diel

Tony Award-wining star Jennifer Holliday, an original Broadway cast member of “DreamGirls,” will be the special guest during an evening of dining and music to support local HIV/AIDS patients.

“SweetDreams” will be presented by The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Ryan White Program. The event will take place Saturday, May 12, at the Radisson Hotel on Health Science Campus.

Funds raised at the event will go to the Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care, which supports HIV care for adults and children in the Toledo area.

Wayson Locher opened the first grant-funded free and anonymous HIV testing site in northwest Ohio in 1985 and was one of the key organizers for The University of Toledo’s Ryan White Program. The memorial fund was developed in her honor upon her death in 2010.

“Ann was passionate about providing support to those affected by HIV and AIDS,” said Richard Meeker, manager of community engagement for the Ryan White Program. “The memorial fund provides services for HIV and AIDS patients who have needs that cannot be covered by other agencies or programs in our community. Many individuals are living on a fixed income and need a little help when emergencies arise. That’s where we come in.”

The evening will include cocktails, Southern-style buffet dinner, jazz vocals by Toledo’s own Ramona Collins, and a program presentation on mental health challenges.

Holliday will give the keynote address and perform at the event. She is an advocate for mental health, HIV and LGBTQ rights.

Having struggled with depression herself, Holliday now shares her story of overcoming depression and stresses the importance of seeking medical treatment as the key to a successful recovery.

Holliday is an ardent philanthropist who uses her performances to bring hope to people in search of healing, as well as to raise funds and bring awareness to various causes that impact millions of people every day.

Tickets for the “SweetDreams” fundraiser are $150 each.

The Ryan White Program also is seeking sponsorships with opportunities that range from $1,000 to $5,000 and include VIP tickets for the meet-and-greet reception with Holliday and recognition at the event.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Click to access the login or register cheese