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South Florida Leaders Turn Out To Support World AIDS Museum

Through the White Door, portraying the interconnected human experience of families affected by HIV/AIDS, is making its South Florida debut.

South Florida Leaders Turn Out To Support World AIDS Museum

Close to 100 of South Florida's business, government, arts and health leaders attended the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center's benefit opening reception for Through the White Door, a documentary HIV/AIDS photo project and exhibit at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale (2414 East Sunrise Blvd.). Through the White Door, portraying the interconnected human experience of families affected by HIV/AIDS, is making its South Florida debut and will be available to view through April 30 at The Galleria.

The reception opened with an address by World AIDS Museum's Executive Director Dr. Réquel Lopes followed by remarks from Broward County Commissioner Dr. Barbara Sharief and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis. Photojournalist Smiley Pool and his wife, author and healthcare writer Jessica Johns Pool shared the stories behind the project including the extraordinary and inspirational people they have met along the way and took time to personally greet reception attendees. A brief serenade was provided by The Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus.

The exhibition, consisting of 40 poignant images from South Africa, Romania, North Carolina, Texas and beyond, depicts the life struggles and triumphs of children and families affected by HIV/AIDS captured by Pool from his inspirational book of the same name. The Through the White Door photography project by Pool spans over two decades following a remarkable group of people who faced the HIV/AIDS crisis head-on and saved a generation of children. The project began with two newspaper stories at the Houston Chronicle in the 1990s with the rest of the work completed on his vacation time for the 20 years that followed - around his staff photographer positions at the Chronicle and The Dallas Morning News. Over the years, he continued to follow one of the first children in the world on a drug trial for highly active antiretroviral therapy until adulthood and documented the formation and rise of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) from the organization's inception in Texas to what it is today - the largest provider of care and treatment for HIV positive children in the world.

The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center's presentation of the Through the White Door exhibit is sponsored by The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale and supported by the Broward County Cultural Council. Light bites and wine were provided courtesy of Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale.

For more information about the Through the White Door photo exhibit, please call (954) 390-0550 or visit www.worldaidsmuseum.org.


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