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ACRA Celebrates 30 Years of Caring, Commitment, Compassion For Durham’s Underserved


Durham, NC – Affordable Community Residence Association (ACRA), formerly known as AIDS Community Residence Association, has been caring for, committed to, and shown compassion in support of Durham’s underserved since 1987. For over 30 years ACRA, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, has served hundreds of individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS and the disabled by providing diverse, supportive housing options and programs to individuals from all over the state of North Carolina and Southeast. 

ACRAIn honor of this significant moment in our history, ACRA will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a Theatre Dinner Gala & Silent Auction on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at the William & Ida Friday Center (100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill, NC) at 6:00 pm.  This event will feature special guest performances by Hillside High School’s “ONE VOICE” under the direction of Wendell Tabb, traditional gospel vocalist and educator Mary D. Williams, and smooth jazz provided by The Baron Tymas Trio. Community Health Coalition, Inc. Assistant Director Rev. Dr. Michelle Laws will serve as Mistress of Ceremony for the evening.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will support much-needed renovations to ACRA housing units at Blevins Too Group Home and Fitts-Powell Apartments that include roofing, re-pavement of the parking lot, landscaping and water drainage, and finally enhanced programming and services for residents.  A specific portion of sponsorships will be tax-deductible.

Board Chair Todd Durham explains the name change, “We decided to change our name from the AIDS Community Residence Association to the Affordable Community Residence Association because so much has changed in the last 30 years since we were founded.  Over this time, health care has improved dramatically so that fewer and fewer individuals with HIV ever progress to AIDS.   We also wanted to do our part to remove the stigma associated with a person’s status.  We think our new name emphasizes the importance of affordable housing to a broad group of individuals with disabilities while still serving individuals affected with HIV.”

“Our 30th-anniversary gala is a great opportunity to celebrate the impact we have had on our community.  I am very excited about the program we have planned.  I think Gala attendees will find the program to be educational and inspirational, featuring some tremendous talent.  Bring your checkbooks!”

Honorary Co-Chairs of the gala are Drs. John and Patricia Bartlett, founding members of ACRA. “The AIDS Community Residence Association has been a part of our hearts and souls for the past 30 years. Please give generously to support ACRA to keep this institution alive.”

Highlights of ACRA’s commitment to service over 30 years:

  • 1989 First Group with 24-hour care for HIV+ in North Carolina
  • 1993 First HUD Subsidized in the United States with a preference for HIV+
  • 2000 First Scattered Housing in North Carolina owned by the sponsoring nonprofit
  • 2007 Blevins Too, newly constructed home replaced old Blevins
  • 2007 September 21st proclaimed ACRA Day by Mayor Bell
  • 2010 Provided housing for 19 residents at Fitts-Powell
  • 2015 Established a food pantry to assist residents at Fitts-Powell and Blevins Too
  • 2016 Provided travel for five clients to attend Kanuga Retreat for long-term HIV/AIDS survivors

Tickets are $50 per person and sponsorships are available at

If you are sending a donation in the form of a check, please make it payable to ACRA and mail to P. O. Box 25265, Durham NC 27702 or donate/purchase tickets via

Thank you for considering this opportunity to partner with our organization in raising funds for a worthy cause.  If you have any queries regarding our organization, please contact Brenda Ruffin 919-973-4369, or Todd Durham, Board Chair at 919-656-5145,

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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