Nashville CARES Announces Award Recipients

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 3, 2014 


Ceremony to Take Place at Avant Garde Masquerade Ball Saturday February 8, 2014

Nashville, TN – At its November meeting, the Nashville CARES Board of Directors selected the 2013 recipients for the J Thomas Powell and Corporate Partner Awards. The award ceremony will take place at CARES’ Avant Garde Masquerade Ball on Saturday, February 8, 2014.

The J. Thomas Powell Award will be awarded to Iris Buhl, a long time supporter of Nashville CARES and an HIV/AIDS advocate in the Nashville community. The J. Thomas Powell Award was created by the Board of Directors during the agency’s tenth anniversary in 1995 to honor the work of CARES’ founder Tommy Powell. During more than 25 years of volunteer service, Buhl has served as a member of the agency’s Board, its Advisory and Ambassador Councils, and many ad hoc planning groups and search committees.

“Iris’ involvement in HIV/AIDS and Nashville CARES – as a community advocate, volunteer and donor–has been extraordinary,” said CARES CEO Joseph Interante. “Whenever she has been asked to assist with a project, Iris has given 110%. In addition to volunteer service, she and her husband the late Mike Buhl have been generous donors to’ Artrageous, Nashville CARES, local displays of the Names Project, and other community HIV causes.”

The Corporate Partner Award for 2013 will be awarded to Tribe/Play/Suzy Wong’s House of Yum. The Corporate Partner Award acknowledges the role of the private sector in building a community response to HIV/AIDS, by recognizing Middle Tennessee businesses which have provided significant corporate support, through event sponsorship, cause-related marketing initiatives, employee voluntarism, in-kind donations, and company or foundation grants.

“Suzy Wong’s House of Yum has been one of the leading restaurants for Dining Out For Life for 11 years, and an employee team from Tribe and Play has walked in the Nashville AIDS Walk for many years – contributing over $85,000 since 2003,” said Interrante. Play and Tribe have also sponsored ongoing HIV testing and education outreach, as well as donating club space, staff time and door revenue for other special events, including Broadway Cares cabarets and many other events held by other community groups to support CARES programs.

“The involvement and support of these recipients is emblemmatic of the tremendous support that CARES has receievd from the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community throughout its history,” Interrante added. “Our successes to date in meeting the challenges of HIV/AIDS in our community would not have been popssible without it, and we are delighted to recognize and thank them.”

Avant Garde Masquerade will be held on February 8 at War Memorial Auditorium from 7pm to 11pm. In its 4th year, Avant Garde has become one of Nashville’s most exclusive events. This year’s theme is “Masquerade” where guests will enjoy a limited open bar, entertainment, awards ceremony and food by the Chef and I. Tickets can be purchased online at For more information, call 615-259-4866.


About Nashville CARES:

Nashville CARES offers services annually to more than 60,000 Middle Tennesseans infected and affected by HIV/AIDS including: HIV prevention education to over 44,000 youth and adults, 13,000 FREE confidential HIV tests, and support services to 2,500 men, women and children living with the disease. For information about Nashville CARES, visit and “like” us on Facebook at


Contact: M. Patrick Hamilton (615) 259-4866

# # #