Monthly Musings from THP's Executive Director  
 "Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust." ~ Jesse Owens


My dear friend Ron Johnson is the Meryl Streep of awards for local philanthropy and although he may not be able to speak in multiple dialects, he has been honored by more organizations than most people even know exist. Deservedly so, I might add.

Triad Health Project is thrilled to add another "trophy" to Ron's case in December with the addition of the Ron Johnson 5K Run to the 23rd Annual Winter Walk for AIDS on Sunday, December 7th.

Ron Johnson is Winter Walk to THP, having raised over $400,000 for this event since the walk began in 1991. Yes, that's five zeros after that four.

It's funny, though, when I think of Ron and his deep commitment to THP, I rarely think of Winter Walk. No, instead I think of the countless times he has supported THP clients in quiet but significant ways, particularly in the early days of THP.

Addison Ore, Executive Director

Back then, HIV/AIDS was a death sentence and so many folks were dying shortly after being diagnosed. Ron would provide hours of pro bono legal work and help people get their affairs in orders. He also provided compassion and courage at a time when many people were afraid to even talk about HIV/AIDS. Ron has never been afraid to talk the talk and Lord knows, he has walked the Walk!


To name a 5K run after him is a small but heartfelt way for us to shine the spotlight on a humble and generous man who has been working for almost three decades to help people living with HIV/AIDS.

Besides, when it comes to Winter Walk, you just can't run from Ron Johnson.

I look forward to seeing you on December 7th!

Very best-


THP's #TBT Film Series


JOIN US TUESDAY, October 21st @ 6:30 pm at Geeksboro for the screening of And The Band Played On

Based on journalist Randy Shilts's controversial tome detailing the emergence of AIDS in America, this gripping, made-for-cable film follows doctors at the Centers for Disease Control as they search for a cure. But an ambivalent U.S. government, red tape and ego battles between French and American researchers thwart the CDC's efforts. The all-star cast includes Matthew Modine, Alan Alda, Ian McKellen and Lily Tomlin.


The show will start at 6:30 pm and admission is FREE. The first 25 tickets will be available for pick up at Geeksboro one week in advance and the other 25 tickets are first come, first serve at the screening.

Triad Health Project will host a short discussion after the screening about the relevance of HIV/AIDS in the film.  


Please mark your calendar and invite your friends to the upcoming screenings in the #TBT Film Series:
October 21st- And The Band Played On 
November 20th- RENT 
December 18th- The Lonely Heart

Testing The Four Agreements

Kevin Varner,
Director of Prevention and Education
There's a little book called, "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. When I tested HIV positive, a friend gave me a copy with the instruction, "Read this. It will help". I read with some skepticism four simple agreements that promised to "transform my life to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love", if I practiced them. They are: 1. Be Impeccable With Your Word. 2. Don't Take Anything Personally. 3. Don't Make Assumptions. 4. Always Do Your Best.


I say "practice" because I'm not sure, as simple as the agreements are that one ever masters them. Simple doesn't equal easy. While life has not become, "OMG! Totally amazing and transformed!" as a result of practicing, and also screwing up the four agreements, I have noticed that I am happier, less narcissistic, less judgmental about myself and others, more compassionate, a better listener, and just "better off". Sometimes that's plenty.


I'll use "The Four Agreements" to show how we can all take better care of each other by testing and sharing our status with partners. If I am being impeccable with my word, I am going to be honest, and communicate my HIV and STI status with my partner. I am going to test regularly to take care of my health. I'm going to cultivate a plan for practicing safer sex and stick to it - not renege on it in the heat of the moment. I'm going to set clear and present boundaries and establish honest communication. I'm not going to take it personally if someone rejects me when I tell the truth about my HIV status, because that's not about me - it's about them. It never was about me to begin with. I'm not going to make an assumption that someone is going to stigmatize me because I'm positive, or reject me, even though it's happened in the past, many times. Assumptions are like crystal balls. We use assumptions to predict the unknown, and prepare for disappointment. If we're in the moment, and doing our best, that won't happen. And lastly, I'm going to do my best in any situation to honor the other 3 agreements, knowing that "my best" will change with each new moment. Thanks for reading-and if anyone is interested in talking about The Four Agreements, I'm always up for a chat about them. 

Cooking with Ninevah

As our summer gardens begin to fade away, there are still peppers and late corn to be harvested. This salad of corn, black beans and herbs is delicious with fresh, raw corn...but is also quite tasty when frozen, white shoe-peg corn is used. Just remember to allow the frozen corn to thaw and drain before mixing with the black beans. Either way, this combination of vegetables and herbs is great as a side dish or when mixed with other items in a green salad. Enjoy!


Black Bean and Corn Salad
2 cups fresh corn cut from 2 ears white or bi-color corn (can also use frozen white shoe-peg corn, thawed and drained)
1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium red pepper, washed and dried with membrane and seeds removed
1/2 medium red onion, peeled
leaves from 24 stems Italian flat-leaf parsley to make 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (leaves from 12 stems cilantro and 12 stems Italian parsley can also be used)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kala Jeera (black cumin) seeds, crushed (can substitute regular cumin seed)

To prepare the vegetables and herbs:
Shuck, wash and scrub the corn to remove silks. Hold an ear of corn over a large bowl and use a short paring knife to cut the kernels from corn from the base to the tip of the cob. 
Drain the liquid from the black beans, then run water through the beans to rinse them. Allow the excess liquid to drain from the beans and then add beans to the kernels of corn.
After removing the membrane and seeds from the red pepper, cut the pepper into one inch pieces.
Remove the peel and outer layer from the quarter section of the red onion. Cut the onion into one inch pieces.
Rinse the parsley and/or cilantro and wrap in a towel to remove excess moisture. Remove leaves from parsley and/or cilantro. Discard stems.
Put the red pepper, onion, parsley and/or cilantro into a food processor. Chop to a fine dice. Add the diced red pepper, onion, parsley and/or cilantro to the corn and black beans.

To make the dressing:
Mix together the olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Add the fine sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Grind the Kala Jeera or regular cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to release the essence of the spice. Add the Kala Jeera or cumin to the dressing mixture. Whisk to blend.
Blend the dressing into the vegetable/herb mixture, stirring gently to incorporate the dressing throughout the vegetables and herbs. The salad can be served immediately but the flavor intensifies if you wait about 20 minutes for the flavors to blend before serving. Left-overs should be refrigerated. The salad can be served cold but the flavor seems to be more pronounced at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings

Check out our friend Ninevah in the August Issue of O. Henry Magazine (page 66)

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Join us for THP's 23rd Annual Winter Walk for AIDS and Inaugural Ron Johnson 5K Run at UNCG on Sunday, December 7, 2014! 

There will be a timed 5K race portion and a 1 mile walk route for Winter Walk participants. Teams and individuals are encouraged to register online and raise funds for the programs at Triad Health Project that benefit those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in our community. 


For more information, visit

Mark's Mentionings
 I don't remember where I first heard the story of the impetuous student monk who complained to the zenmaster about
the pain and unfairness of life. 

Mark Cassity, Director of Higher Ground
Reminded of himself years ago, the zenmaster smiled and had the student fetch a glass of water and a container of salt. The salt was poured into the water and swirled together before the teacher asked his student to drink.

"How does it taste?" asked the elder."Bitter!" spat the young monk.
The pair walked to the lakeside where the master produced another container of salt, gave it to the young man and had him swirl it into the water. He bade the student drink again.

"How does it taste?" asked the elder.
"Wonderful. Sweet!" replied the young monk.

"The pain of life is the same," suggested the zenmaster, "so much depends upon what container we put it in."
The student listened.

"Stop being a glass," the old man said. "Become a lake."
Project Shimmy Success!
Our friends at the Twisted Dance Collective exceeded all expectations with the 6th Annual Project Shimmy.  Dancers and performers from all over the state came together for a night of belly dancing and world dance on Saturday, September 6th, at the Gail Brower Huggins Auditorium on the campus of Greensboro College. 

We were amazed and honored when they delivered a check for $1,400! 

Thanks to all who helped make this fun benefit a great success!

Pictures taken by Torey Searcy Photography
We Love You, Pam!

Some people have the ability to make you feel like you're ten feet tall when you're around them, even if they're only about half that size themselves.  Pam Young is one of those remarkable people, brimming with life and vitality, and sporting a quick wit and brilliant smile to match.  

One of our longtime go-to friends at Replacements, Ltd., Pam exemplifies what it means to love your neighbor and put the interests of others first.  For years, she's been the principal organizer of so much of Replacements' hands-on engagement with THP - from organizing monthly lunches at Higher Ground and their annual Dining for Friends party, promoting the Winter Walk for AIDS, and coordinating their employee Christmas angel tree program for children of THP clients.  Her touch with THP has been year-round and heartfelt.   


Pam recently retired from Replacements and we already miss her in this role.  Rocking chair sales are not likely to increase anytime soon because of Pam's retirement.  Pam has too much life to live and too much heart to give.  We love you, Pam.  Carpe Diem!


Pam Young and Ken Keeton


                                                                   Greensboro                                                                        High Point

                                                         801 Summit Avenue                                                         620 English Road

                                                              P.O. Box 5716                                                                     P.O. Box 616

                                                    Greensboro, NC 27435                                                     High Point, NC 27262

                                                           (336) 275-1654                                                                (336) 884-4116