The event: Round-Up for Life IV, a hoedown featuring a chuck-wagon barbecue, line-dancing and midway rides, held on the Centennial Farm at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. The Saturday event benefited the AIDS Services Foundation, which helps local people living with AIDS.
City slickers: More than 600 party-goers wearing cowboy boots and western shirts moseyed around the farm, eating barbecue, playing arcade games and dancing to the Sam Morrison Country-Western Band.
"This event gets bigger every year because it's relaxed, outdoors, and you can really let your hair down," said Jorge Rodriguez, event chairman.
Guests also visited a corral set with silent auction items, including a guitar signed by contemporary pop singer Melissa Etheridge.
To the rescue: Formed in 1985, the AIDS Services Foundation serves more than 850 people who have tested positive for HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS. "When we first started ASF, we thought we'd be out of business in five years. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. People are being infected at an alarming rate," said Al Roberts, ASF board president. "We'll be around a long time."
The Irvine-based agency provides emergency financial assistance, group support group, benefits counseling, food, home health-care and other services.
Quote: "Not everyone infected with HIV has money--and the drugs [that fight the disease] cost a lot of money," Roberts said. "We enable them to get the drugs [they need]."
Bottom line: The event raised $150,000 for ASF. Proceeds will go to client services.
Faces: Ken Jillson; Chuck and Risa Groux; Don Stratton; Jerry Finster; Dick Runels and Judy Fluor-Runels; David Taborelli; Jay Marzullo; Bill Gillespie; Anita May Rosenstein; and Rick Silver.
What's ahead: Splash, a poolside musical revue benefiting ASF, will be Sept. 11-13. Call (949) 253-1500.