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AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA)


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Historical Synopsis

1985 * HIV-Positive UW Student Campaigns for Safer Sex

Bill Allan, a UW student, was diagnosed as HIV positive. He began talking to people on campus about safer sex, but people generally ignored his message. He later spear-headed the formation of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA). Chris Gordon became co-ordinator of GLLOW. He arranged for Bill to speak to GLLOW, and suggested the name ACCKWA for the group that Bill proposed. ACCKWA was founded later in 1985, as a community-based organization. In the Fall, Bill Allan, Chris Gordon and others put on the first AIDS Awareness Night at the KW Hospital.
[source: Jim Parrott.]

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1985, October 23 (Wednesday) * AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area: Public Information Night

An article entitled “‘Sad Songs’ not needed” (with tagline “AIDS meeting discusses victims' problems”) by Donna Chong, Imprint staff, reported on the “Public Information Night held by the newly formed AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo and area, also known as ACCKWA. The event took place on Wednesday October 23 at the auditorium of the K-W Hospital.” The article noted that the meeting was opened by “UW student Bill Allan, chairman of ACCKWA, and himself afflicted with PLS, a form of AIDS.” His remarks were followed by a screening of the film No Sad Songs, which was “about AIDS and its impact on the lives of different people.” The article mentioned other speakers, and the need for fund-raising and support for ACCKWA.
[source: Imprint, Friday, November 1, 1985, Vol. 8, No. 18, p.3; article entitled “‘Sad Songs’ not needed”]

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1986, January 3 (Friday) * K-W Record: Patients with AIDS symptoms fight for treatment as humans

On pp.D1-D2 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, January 3, Friday, there was an article by Sheila Hannon, Record staff, entitled “Patients with AIDS symptoms fight for treatment as humans”. This article began with some remarks by Bill Allan, described as a “Waterloo student who has symptoms of the life-threatening condition.” He indicated that “sometimes health-care professionals and others reel back in horror when they learn their patient or client is suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome ... And that can make it difficult to receive the medical and/or dental care required to combat the numerous infections which accompany AIDS...” He noted that “for the most part, the local care has been very good.” The article went on to provide the following information. “The health care that AIDS and ARC [AIDS-related conditions] patients can receive locally will be a focus of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA, pronounced Aqua) which Allan was instrumental in founding last fall. The committee wants to put together a roster of doctors, dentists, mental health professionals, social workers and others who are willing to treat people who have been exposed to AIDS.” Other possible projects for ACCKWA were also mentioned. The article went on to say that “A steering committee is now directing the committee's activities until a formal organizational meeting can be held, probably in March.“ The article also said that ACCKWA hoped to organize “a symposium of health-care professionals, civil servants and politicians in February to look at the AIDS situation in the region now and in the future....” The article also surveyed precautionary guidelines followed by local hospitals in dealing with AIDS patients. The article concluded with a discussion of special problems involved in the dental treatment of AIDS patients, and the difficulty in finding local dentists willing to handle AIDS clients.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, January 3, Friday, pp.D1-D2; article entitled “Patients with AIDS symptoms fight for treatment as humans”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1986, June 9 (Monday) * K-W Record: Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’

On p.B4 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 9, Monday, there was an article by Mark Zwolinski, Record staff, entitled “Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’”. The article began “The struggle is just beginning. Starting today, the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo, and area, (ACCKWA) begins an uphill battle that it hopes will end with a central office, a new ‘hotline’ phone number, and most importantly, an information link to region residents regarding the much talked about, deadly disease.” The article included many comments by two ACCKWA board members, Gordon Youngman and Doug Saunders [referred to in the article as “Sanders”], mostly about complacency in the community and about fund-raising efforts. It was noted that ACCKWA would be participating in AIDS Awareness Week, beginning with a conference that very day at the Waterloo Adult Recreation Centre, to be followed on Friday by a fund-raising dance at the American Hotel in Kitchener. The article spoke of support from local MP Walter McLean and Waterloo Region's medical health officer, Dr. Gerrard Evans. The article closed with the note: “ACCKWA's hotline will come into service in July they say, and plans are to have it reach the whole 519 area code in the future.”
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 9, Monday, p.B4; article entitled “Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1986, June 9 (Monday) * ACCKWA: AIDS Awareness Week: Press Conference at the Waterloo Adult Recreation Centre

On p.B4 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 9, Monday, there was an article by Mark Zwolinski, Record staff, entitled “Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’”. The article noted that ACCKWA would be participating in AIDS Awareness Week, beginning with a conference that very day at the Waterloo Adult Recreation Centre, to be followed on Friday by a fund-raising dance at the American Hotel in Kitchener.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 9, Monday, p.B4; article entitled “Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1986, June 10 (Tuesday) * K-W Record: Regional group calls for war on AIDS

On p.A16 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 10, Tuesday, there was an article by Mark Zwolinski, Record staff, entitled “Regional group calls for war on AIDS”. This article was a report on the press conference by ACCKWA on June 9, Monday, which formed the official opening of AIDS Awareness Week in Waterloo Region. The article spoke mainly about the need for increased public awareness, and noted that “Their battle will be fought with up-to-date pamphlets and, hopefully, a new hotline phone number, which will advise people how to avoid contact with the disease.” The article went on to say that “If funding permits, ACCKWA will expand their operation to include a central office and hotline coverage of the entire 519 area code.” The article also noted that “ACCKWA members will attend a candlelight vigil in Toronto Thursday and hold a benefit dance Friday at the American Hotel.”
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 10, Tuesday, p.A16; article entitled “Regional group calls for war on AIDS”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1986, June 13 (Friday) * ACCKWA: AIDS Awareness Week: Fund-Raising Dance at the American Hotel (Kitchener)

On p.B4 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 9, Monday, there was an article by Mark Zwolinski, Record staff, entitled “Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’”. The article noted that ACCKWA would be participating in AIDS Awareness Week, beginning with a conference that very day at the Waterloo Adult Recreation Centre, to be followed on Friday by a fund-raising dance at the American Hotel in Kitchener.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1986, June 9, Monday, p.B4; article entitled “Uphill battle: Region AIDS committee organizers campaign for office, phone ‘hotline’”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1987, Spring * ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area): Official Founding and First Board of Directors

“Spring 1987. First Board of Directors was formed at the founding meeting of the AIDS Committee. This group worked diligently through the long and complex process of forming an agency and received $5,000 which kept the Board of Directors going until the full application process was completed and the first Executive Director was hired.
The Founding ACCKWA Board Members:
Dr Gary Gibson - Family Physician in Cambridge
Margie Foster - Infection Control Coordinator, KW Hospital
Norma Nyiri - Infection Control Coordinator, St Mary's Hospital
John Sitler - University of Waterloo Library Clerk
Tina Tschanz - Information Services, Cambridge
Gordon Youngman - Education Consultant and AIDS Advocate.”
[Note: Although ACCKWA had been set up in 1985 with that name, it was only officially founded in the spring of 1987 with a board of directors, and it did not become officially incorporated until 1987, October 1.]
[source: “Section 1.2: Our History” of “ACCKWA Board of Directors Orientation Manual, Revised: September 2010.”]

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1987, May 16 (Saturday) * ACCKWA: Yard Sale

On p.?? of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, May 12, Tuesday, there was a brief announcement entitled “AIDS group needs items for yard sale”. The announcement indicated that ACCKWA was looking for items for a yard sale that would be held on Saturday on Glasgow Street from 8am to 2pm, with the proceeds going to ACCKWA.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, May 12, Tuesday, p.??; announcement entitled “AIDS group needs items for yard sale”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1987, May 23 (Saturday) * K-W Record: Education is key to prevention

On p.?? of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, May 23 , Saturday, there was an article entitled “Education is key to prevention”. Much of this article was drawn from an interview with Gordon Youngman. After speaking about the importance of education in combatting the spread of AIDS, the article noted the following. “In Waterloo Region, however, radio and television stations have rejected Canadian Public Health Association announcements about AIDS (no equivalent have been offered to the print media, including newspapers) and the separate school board is taking steps to make sure that AIDS is not the dominant health subject in the new school curriculum. The education process here is not nearly as vigorous nor moving nearly fast enough for at least one dedicated activist in the campaign against AIDS. ‘Education is our only means of prevention at this time,’ says Gordon Youngman, chairman of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and area (ACCKWA). Youngman, however, is diplomatic — even philosophical — about slow public acceptance of realities.” The article also refers briefly to the existence of a confidential AIDS information telephone line in Youngman's home; this was evidently a precursor to the hotlines that ACCKWA later established.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, May 23 , Saturday, p.??; article entitled “Education is key to prevention”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1987, October 1 * ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area): Incorporation

“Oct 1, 1987. Letters of Patent signed. The agency was officially named ACCKWA (AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area). The main purposes of becoming incorporated included: (i) the ability to receive and maintain a fund(s) and other property and (ii) to apply from time to time for income for charitable purposes.”
[Note: Although ACCKWA had been set up in 1985 with that name, it was only officially founded in the spring of 1987 with a board of directors, and it did not become officially incorporated until 1987, October 1.]
[source: “Section 1.2: Our History” of “ACCKWA Board of Directors Orientation Manual, Revised: September 2010.”]

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1987, November [around Nov 3] (???day) * K-W Record: Region AIDS hotline to be operational within week

On pp.B1-B2 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, November [early], ???day, there was an article by Sheila Hannon, Record staff, entitled “Region AIDS hotline to be operational within week”. The article began as follows. “The most extensive AIDS telephone hotline in Southwestern Ontario will go into operation in Waterloo Region within a week. The confidential telephone service manned by volunteers will provide basic information about acquired immune deficiency syndrome and lend a ‘sympathetic ear,’ said Jeannie Adams of the AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area (ACCKWA). ‘It's not counselling. It's support. We're not professionals,’ said Adams, who is chairman of ACCKWA's support-services committee. The actual number will not be publicized until installation has been completed Nov. 8, she said. The group is hoping that it will be able to begin receiving calls on Nov. 10.” The article went on to say that, initially, the hotline would be run from 7-11 pm, Monday to Friday. After giving a description of the types of calls expected, the article indicated that the “10 volunteers received a six-week training session on basic AIDS information and the skills needed to deal with people, some of whom may be in a crisis state.” The article also indicated that that hotline was ACCKWA's first major educational initiative, and that at a later date an answering machine might be installed to provide information at times when the hotline was not staffed.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, November [early], ???day, pp.B1-B2; article entitled “Region AIDS hotline to be operational within week”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1987, December 7 (Monday) * K-W Record: Money for AIDS education: Region gets $112,000 to fight killer disease

On pp.A1-A2 of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, December 7, Monday, there was an article entitled “Money for AIDS education: Region gets $112,000 to fight killer disease”, concerning a recent grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health. The article indicated that the grant money would be used “for hiring an AIDS co-ordinator-educator, public health nurse, and clerical support for the team” and that the grant would “pay for the program until March 31, 1989.” The article also included comments from Gordon Youngman, chairman of ACCKWA (The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area) expressing pleasure that the grant had been made, and the hope that a full-time AIDS co-ordinator might be hired. After giving some statistics on the number of AIDS and HIV-positive cases in Waterloo Region, the article had the following note, evidently concerning the hotline that ACCKWA had announced in early November: “Youngman said that the Waterloo Region AIDS hotline is receiving an average of 10 to 20 requests a day for information.”
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1987, December 7, Monday, pp.A1-A2; article entitled “Money for AIDS education: Region gets $112,000 to fight killer disease”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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1988, November 18 (Friday) * K-W Record: AIDS group gets grant for centre

On p.?? of The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1988, November 18 (Friday), there was a short news note entitled “AIDS group gets grant for centre”. The news note began “The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo and Area is planning to open a walk-in AIDS counselling and information centre with a grant from the Ontario Health Ministry.” The note indicated that funding of $74,225 had been granted for annual expenses, with an additional $2450 in one-time capital funding.
[source: The Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 1988, November 18 (Friday), p.??; a short news note entitled “AIDS group gets grant for centre”; photocopy supplied by ACCKWA.]

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