Cherry Pop’s Code Red Surpasses Quarter Million Dollars in Support to HIV Nonprofits

Cherry Pop’s Code Red Surpasses Quarter Million Dollars in Support to HIV Nonprofits

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At the Mazzoni Center Honors benefit at the Kimmel Center this past November, Michael Tambon, also known as Cherry Pop, spoke about how his own HIV diagnosis inspired him, from initially feeling like an outcast, to develop Code Red, an annual drag show benefit featuring Cherry Pop and a bevy of her drag queen sisters performing to raise funds for local Philadelphia nonprofits, including Mazzoni Center, that provide critical support to those living with HIV.

In addition to the evening’s energetic performances, each year Code Red includes a moving segment that Michael calls “Breaking the Silence,” where he is joined onstage by others living with HIV, all carrying signs that defy being branded by their diagnosis.

Code Red filled the seats of Philadelphia’s Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday, December 3, this year raising over $48,000 for Mazzoni Center, AIDS Fund, galaei, and Action Wellness. The event was made possible by the support of sponsors Live Nation, Brooklyn Bowl, MOR Wealth Management, TJ MAXX, Barclays, Gilead, Tabu Sports Lounge and Bar, and Cockatoo.

Additional donations were provided by Foil & Fade hair studio, Fanci by Design, Fresh Market, and Floating World tattoo & piercings.  

Incredibly, just over a decade since Code Red was created, Michael Tambon’s visionary project has raised over a quarter million dollars for nonprofits serving Philadelphia’s HIV+ community. Mazzoni Center is tremendously grateful to Michael for his dedication to making a difference.

At the conclusion of Michael’s speech at the Mazzoni Center Honors event, he introduced Tony Award nominee Lorna Courtney, who performed the Stephen Schwart song “God Help the Outcasts” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, with photos from the “Breaking the Silence” segment of past Code Red events projected on the screen, a fitting and tribute to Michael’s impact.