‘Boos and Brews’ to fundraise for HIV testing

Guests participate in Boos and Brews costume contest in 2015. Mark Moore, Director of Development and Marketing for Thrive Alabama, said he encourages everyone to wear their best costume and try to win one of several prizes at the end of the evening.

by Student Writer Breanna Littrell

Thrive Alabama will host “Boos and Brews” at Singin’ River Brewing Co. Thursday, Oct. 27 from 6 – 9p.m. Tickets are $10 a person.

Thrive Alabama is a non-profit organization that provides healthcare to people living with HIV, free HIV and STI testing and many other services.

The event will help raise money to obtain a mobile testing unit, April Koonce, Manager and Social Worker for Thrive Alabama.

“Boos and Brews” will feature two guided Ghost Walk cemetery tours, said Mark Moore, Director of Development and Marketing for Thrive Alabama.

“We will have several local people and actors tell stories from some of Florence’s dearly departed,” Moore said. “I think cemetery tours are just fun anyway, and with this one being in a lovely space, and we will have lights along the path, I think it’s going to be really nice.”

There will be a tour that leaves at 6:30, and the other at 7:45, Moore said.

“At the brewery there will be food and music and dancing and just good times there,” he said.

The last feature of “Boos and Brews” will be the costume contest. Moore said he encourages everyone to wear their best costume and try to win one of several prizes at the end of the evening. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

It is a “nifty” idea, said senior Sarah Tingle.

“I like things that rhyme and I like Halloween,” she said. “If I don’t have homework, I will go.”

Koonce said that the event will be a “friendraiser.”

“We would love for college students to get involved,” she said.

There are volunteer opportunities available for anyone who would want to help, said Jay Hixon, Community Relations Specialist.

“Volunteers would help us decorate and also deconstruct at the end of the night,” he said. “We will also have volunteers setting up the cemetary for the ghost walk.”

He said students who want to volunteer can email [email protected]

Koonce said they want to bring awareness to their organization with the event.

“Our main goal is just to bring awareness, to let people know that we are here, what we do, and we do want to raise money to get a mobile testing unit,” she said. “We want people to know that our services are relevant to them even if they are not HIV positive. We offer walk-in rapid HIV testing, and we really want to raise awareness for HIV testing and how important that is.”

The mobile testing unit is a great idea, said junior Samuel Townson.

“It would be very valuable, like blood drives on campus,” he said. “Some people that wouldn’t normally give blood see the bloodmobile on campus and so they give blood. A mobile testing unit would draw the attention of people who wouldn’t normally get tested.”

Koonce said she hopes people come out and enjoy the event.