Thursday, February 2, 2023

Nightclub to host toy drive in honor of local activist to help kids impacted by HIV

Ryan Burris organized the annual toy drive before his death in November 2018. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy 10th Annual Ryan Burris Memorial Toy Drive Facebook page)

WILMINGTON — The tenth-annual Ryan Burris Memorial Toy Drive will be held at Pravda nightclub in downtown Wilmington for children who have been impacted by HIV.

Attendance for the December 8 event requires at least one unwrapped toy per person or a $10-dollar donation to Partners in Caring, a component of the Duke University Medical Center Division of Infectious Diseases, supporting people with HIV and offering community education programs.

The group has an office in Wilmington and Durham, providing HIV and STD testing services, “HIV 101” workshops, HIV healthcare services, support groups, case management, and housing assistance to people throughout southeastern North Carolina. 

The event, which will be held Sunday, December 8, from 1 to 5 p.m., will include local performers DJ Bobby Zee, Tara Nicole Brooks, Josh Starkey, and Emily Roth. 

The toy drive is being organized by Charles Ogiba, a mental health social worker for the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, and local nonprofit Cape Fear Equality. It will be held in honor of Ryan Burris, an equal rights activist in Wilmington before his death in November 2018.

Aleeze Arthur of Cape Fear Equality said Burris led the annual Christmas toy drive before his death.

“Ryan really cared about this event and sponsored it every year at his home,” she said.

The toys will go to families impacted by HIV and children infected by HIV, while the cash donations will go toward Partners in Caring’s programs.

“And they do a lot of rural work, which is really important,” Arthur said.

All donated toys will be given to Partners in Caring. Those who can’t attend the event can send donations to Duke University with Partners in Caring in the subject line, to their Wilmington office located at 2203 Delaney Ave.

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