2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Honorees:
Henry A. “Hank” Plante is an American television reporter and newspaper columnist. He is on-air at NBC Palm Springs and he is a member of the Editorial Board of Gannett’s Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs. Winner of the George Foster Peabody Award and multiple Emmys, he covered California for three decades for TV stations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He now writes occasional columns for newspapers in California, usually focusing on politics or gay and lesbian issues. One of the first openly gay TV reporters in the United States, Plante is the recipient of various honors from LGBTQ rights advocacy organizations and trade groups. In addition, Plante was featured in the documentary “5B” 5B (film), which was honored at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. The film is about the first AIDS ward in the nation, which Plante covered as a reporter. A native of Detroit, Plante worked in both radio and television journalism, including 25 years at KPIX-TV (CBS 5) in San Francisco, before retiring in April 2010. Before that, he worked in print journalism, including at The Washington Post. At KPIX-TV, he interviewed a range of national and state political figures, including five U.S. Presidents and numerous Governors, legislators and opinion makers from Richard Nixon to Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown and Hillary Clinton.
His experience includes reporting and anchoring at TV stations in various cities, including KHJ-TV in Los Angeles, KRIV in Houston, KMSP-TV in Minneapolis and WVEC-TV in Norfolk, Virginia. He also served as Assignment Editor at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C., and as News Editor at WRC (NBC) Radio in Washington D.C. He began his career as a journalist in Washington, D.C. at the Sentinel Newspapers, where he was managing editor, and at The Washington Post, where he worked on the city desk. His awards have included several local and national Emmys, as well as the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, in 1986, as part of CBS 5’s “AIDS Lifeline” reporting team. He has also been awarded the Pioneer Award at the GLAAD Media Awards, and the James R. Harrison Award from the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. He was also named “Reporter of the Year” by the Associated Press (APTRA’S “Chris Harris Award”). Hank was inducted into the Emmy Silver Circle by the National Television Academy, which honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to broadcasting. In addition, his work has been singled out for praise by The New York Times and other media. Plante was inducted into the LGBTQ Journalists Hall of Fame in 2010.
Garry Kief is a former DAP Board Member and currently serves on the boards of the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center, Palm Springs International Film Festival, McCallum Theatre, and the Annenberg Theatre Counsel. In addition, Kief has served as National President and Chairman of the Trustees of his national fraternity – Sigma Phi Epsilon, raising money for programs and scholarships to support undergraduate men. Kief is President/CEO at Stiletto Entertainment Group and President of Barry Manilow Productions. He has produced ‘A Gift of Love’ for four years raising millions of dollars for local charities. Kief also oversees the Manilow Music Project which empowers underfunded school music programs to provide quality music education. By donating instruments and equipment and providing scholarships nationwide, it gives disadvantaged young people the opportunity to experience community, passion, and creativity through the gift of music.
Ambassador-at-Large, Deborah L. Birx, M.D., is the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Ambassador Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader in the field of HIV/AIDS. Her three-decade-long career has focused on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Birx oversees the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Serving as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, she aligns the U.S. Government’s diplomacy with foreign assistance programs that address global health challenges and accelerate progress toward: achieving an AIDS-free generation; ending preventable child and maternal deaths; and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats.
In 1985, Ambassador Birx began her career with the Department of Defense (DoD) as a military-trained clinician in immunology, focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research. From 1985-1989, she served as an Assistant Chief of the Hospital Immunology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Through her professionalism and leadership in the field, she progressed to serve as the Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1996-2005. Ambassador Birx helped lead one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in history (known as RV 144 or the Thai trial), which provided the first supporting evidence of any vaccine’s potential effectiveness in preventing HIV infection. During this time, she also rose to the rank of Colonel, bringing together the Navy, Army, and Air Force in a new model of cooperation – increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. Military’s HIV/AIDS efforts through inter- and intra-agency collaboration. Then known as Colonel Birx, she was awarded two prestigious U.S. Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit Award for her groundbreaking research, leadership, and management skills during her tenure at DOD.
From 2005-2014, Ambassador Birx served successfully as the Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), which is part of the agency’s Center for Global Health. As DGHA Director, she utilized her leadership ability, superior technical skills, and infectious passion to achieve tremendous public health impact. She successfully led the implementation of CDC’s PEPFAR programs around the world and managed an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion. Ambassador Birx was responsible for all of the agency’s global HIV/AIDS activities, including providing oversight to more than 400 staff at headquarters, over 1,500 staff in the field, and more than 45 country and regional offices in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, and Latin America. Recognized for her distinguished and dedicated commitment to building local capacity and strengthening quality laboratory health services and systems in Africa, in 2011, Ambassador Birx received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. In 2014, CDC honored her leadership in advancing the agency’s HIV/AIDS response with the highly prestigious William C. Watson, Jr. Medal of Excellence.
Headline performer, Kristin Chenoweth is a passionate supporter of charities that dedicate their time and efforts to helping those in need. She formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center (BAPAC) Foundation in her home state of Oklahoma. Chenoweth’s accomplishments were honored by her hometown with BAPAC naming “The Kristin Chenoweth Theatre” in 2012. Partnering with the BAPAC in a labor of love, Kristin launched an annual Broadway Bootcamp in 2015, providing young Broadway hopefuls with the opportunity to take classes, hold performances and learn from top mentors in the entertainment industry including Kristin herself. In her lifelong mission to cultivate arts education across the globe, Chenoweth has also created “Places! The Kristin Chenoweth Tour Experience,” a unique educational program for young singers that puts them right next to her performing on stage. Each concert in Chenoweth’s ongoing tour will feature local participants from higher education conservatories, universities, and colleges for the immersive educational experience. Emmy and Tony Award winning actress and singer – Chenoweth’s career spans film, television, voiceover and stage. In 2015, Chenoweth received a coveted star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, she received an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in “Pushing Daisies.” In 1999, she won a Tony Award for “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” and she was also nominated for her original role of Glinda the Good Witch in “Wicked” in 2004. Chenoweth has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and for a People’s Choice Award for her role on “Glee.”
Chenoweth recently released her latest album “For The Girls,” debuting at #3 on the Current Pop Albums chart and #11 on the Billboard Top Albums chart. The album is a heartfelt tribute to the great female singers throughout history, particularly some of Kristin’s heroes and friends. Guest artists include Ariana Grande, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Hudson and Reba McEntire. The album includes Chenoweth’s personally charged interpretations of classic songs identified with such iconic artists as Barbra Streisand, Lesley Gore, Linda Ronstadt, Dinah Washington, Dolly Parton and more.
Thank you to our generous 2020 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Sponsors
PRODUCING: Harold Matzner, Walgreens
MAJOR: Elgart Aster & Paul Swerdlove, Desert Care Network, Desert Sun, Eisenhower Health, El Paseo Jewelers, Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Living Out
STAR: Mark Adams, Steven Anders/The Elizabeth Firth Wade Endowment, Annette Bloch, Desert Oasis Healthcare, Here Media, Jean-Daniel Kermelly, NBC Palm Springs, Saks Fifth Avenue
SUPPORTING: Blackbook, Jim Burba & Bob Hayes, Diageo, Gilead Sciences, Lynn Hammond, Jerry Keller, Lauri & Charles Kibby, Garry Kief, Gilead Sciences, Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs / GRIT Development, Neil Lane Jewelers, Edward & Marie Lewis, LULU California Bistro, Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel, UC Riverside School of Medicine, Marc Walters & Richard Cassar, Wells Fargo
BENEFACTOR: Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal, Carolyn & Daniel Caldwell, Colleen Crowley & Jack Martin, Coachella Valley Health Personnel, Freehold Communities, Image360, Patrick Jordan, Kaiser Permanente Foundation, Koffi, Frank Kurland, Laboratory Corporation of America, Perry McKay, Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, Revive Wellness, Ann Sheffer & Bill Scheffler, Sysco Riverside, Vaso Bello Celebrations, Union Bank – Don Soucie, White Cross Pharmacy
PATRON: Carrie & Mark Babij, CASL Interpreting, Desert Insurance Solutions, Desert Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy, Jay Harness & Darci Daniels, Higher Ground, Ben Hu, Steve Kaufer & Young Chu, Brad Leathers, Maximum Security, James O’Reilly & Steven Pounders, MD, Robert O’Shaughnessy, Robert Seale & Jim Gilger. Steve Simoni & John Sacchi
MEDIA: CV Independent, Gay Desert Guide, HERE Media, LOCALE Magazine, Palm Springs Life, PromoHomo.TV, Rage Monthly, The Hollywood Times, The Standard Magazine
(Sponsorship list as of 01/28/2020)