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The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is gearing up for its third annual TEE UP TO END AIDS, set to be hosted at Harborside International Golf Center in Chicago on Wednesday, May 22. We sat down with golf-enthusiast and AFC Board of Directors member Tony Tintinalli to learn more about the event and his connection to AFC’s mission.
Q: First off, can you tell me what you do for a living and what your role is with AFC’s Board of Directors?
A: I am the regional president for Chicago North for BMO Harris, and I am the chair of the Finance Committee on the AFC Board of Directors.
Q: What brought you to AFC? What connection do you have to the mission?
A: I learned about AFC when joining BMO Harris because it was an organization that we supported and sponsored. From there, I knew I wanted to get involved.
Being a gay man, for me, I’ve always felt that it was important that we educate people about HIV and that we work to eradicate the disease. I just felt that in any way that I could support doing that, would be something I would be passionate about. I have friends who are living with HIV, and I had friends who passed away as a result of the disease, so it’s just something that affects our community, and I would like to see an end to the epidemic.
Q: What prompted you to join the Board of Directors?
A: I’ve always been passionate about understanding and helping to define the strategies of an organization and getting involved in that capacity. I felt that when I moved to Chicago from Canada two years ago, this would be a great way to meet people and get involved in an organization in a different way. It’s one thing to volunteer, but to sort of help define the path of an organization – it was more aligned to my skillset and the things that I do from a work perspective that I thought would be beneficial.
Q: Can you tell me about the event Tee Up to End AIDS?
A: Tee Up is just a great opportunity for supporters to have a wonderful day on a golf course. I think a lot of people are into golf and into organizations like AFC, so this is a great way for parts of our community to connect with individuals who may not necessarily think about it being, like, a “gay” event. This event also allows companies outside of AFC’s network to connect with the cause and enjoy a great afternoon. We are so grateful to Andy Bohnker for leading the event – Andy is an amazing volunteer for AFC who helps get sponsors, turn out golfers and inspires everyone with his personal story.
Q: What was the event like last year?
A: It was a beautiful day, and we had a tremendous turn-out. I think that there was a lot of comradery and fun that people had at the lunch while enjoying winning some prizes. It’s just a really fun day for people to come out with a group of colleagues or friends and for a really great cause – And this is coming from a golfer!
Q: Why are fundraising events such as Tee Up important?
A: The important thing is just being able to connect with the community in a variety of different ways — to come out and enjoy giving to a great cause and having fun doing it. I think people want to come and do things that they enjoy, and this is a great opportunity to do that.
Q: What are you expecting this year?
A: The goal of this year is to have more people come out and participate. There’s always great prizes that people have the opportunity to win. It’s just a really fun way to spend the day and to do something a bit different. If you’re into golf, whether you’re an amateur player or an experienced player, I think it’s just a great day to spend time with friends.
Want to join Tony and other golfers at TEE UP TO END AIDS this year? Click here to grab your tickets and mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 22!