On the night of November 30—the eve of World AIDS Day—the warm glow of candles illuminated the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco as part of the annual Light in the Grove gala.

This year, 650 guests attended the event, which included cocktails and a buffet dinner in a banquet tent, musical and dance numbers and a walk through the magically lit Redwood Grove to a candlelight reflection at the Circle of Friends. (Considered the heart of the memorial, the Circle of Friends includes the engraved names of more than 2,500 people touched by the HIV epidemic.)

Light in the Grove 2018 National AIDS Memorial

Light in the Grove 2018Courtesy of National AIDS Memorial

According to the memorial’s website, the 2018 Light in the Grove gala also recognized AIDS activist and outgoing board chair Michael Shriver, who received the Lifetime of Commitment Honor.

The annual gala raises money to maintain the memorial and its programs and scholarships. If you aren’t familiar with the memorial, be sure to watch the video below, outlining the national memorial’s history.

For a related POZ article, see “National AIDS Memorial Grove to Get an ‘Artists Portal’—and a Giant Chime,” about a recent addition to the grove courtesy of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.