Valentine cocktails kick off the fundraising year for gay-beloved benefactors at Joining Hearts’ 9th annual Love on the Rocks party.

By Jason Mietelski

Gay men know the importance of celebrating life every single day, and also how crucial it is to support those living with HIV/AIDS. When it comes to raising funds and awareness, we each pick up the ball and run with it in our own special way. Some of us make sure it’s exciting and entertaining for everyone to enjoy.

That’s where Joining Hearts, the yearlong event series with the mission “to raise awareness and funds to provide care and housing assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta,” comes in.

Since 1987, Joining Hearts has donated nearly $2 million to its beneficiaries, providing medical care and assistance, housing, meals, and more to thousands in gay Atlanta and beyond. That means when you attend one of their events throughout each year, you play an integral role in giving back to the community and the cause.

This year, 2016 is only different in that it comes with an expanded mission to benefit more non-profit HIV agencies than ever before, and because it inches us closer to finding a cure. To that end, Joining Hearts’ 6th annual Love on the Rocks cocktail party kicks off the giving year in style.

This year, we have more than 30 men and women who are great at throwing great and exciting parties,” says Jerry Henderson, president of Joining Hearts. “My goal is to make this the best Love on the Rocks ever!”

The February 13 event takes place in the opulent Cantoni Furniture Show Room. Surely you noticed the date! Yes, since this is a Valentine themed party, so show up in red or other V-Day-appropriate garb ready to celebrate love, whether you’re in it or you’re single and ready to mingle. General admission and VIP tickets give you access to the exclusive party, drink specials by Ketel One, a fabulous auction, house grooves by DJ Mike Pope, and of course gay Atlanta’s hottest men.

The party was created to be a celebration of love and friendship for all members of our community,” Henderson says. “And get ready—our sexy heartthrobs will be behind that bar serving up your favorite cocktails. There will also be a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind items that will not disappoint and offers something for everyone.

The whole event has become my favorite of the year,” he adds. “It’s fun seeing everyone all dressed up in their festive Valentine’s Day attire.”

Want to go?
What: Love On The Rocks
Where: Cantoni, 1011 Monroe Drive NE
When: Feb. 13, 7 p.m.
Tickets: $35 general admission, $65 VIP
More: joininghearts.org