Food Samaritans (AAP) announced that three community members have recently joined the organization’s Board of Directors. Mark Messenger, Craig Magaw, and Art Williams all recently agreed to join the AAP board and help the organization raise funds to support its ongoing mission to provide nutritional support to improve the quality of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Biographies of the new board members are included at the end of this release.

“We are thrilled to have these three individuals join our hard-working board of directors,” said Mark Anton, CEO/Executive Director of AAP – Food Samaritans. “As our organization has evolved its mission to support community members living with any type of chronic illness, it is even more crucial that we have a board of directors that are engaged with the community and who can offer fundraising support. We are so excited to have them join our team.”

Additionally, AAP – Food Samaritans announced that it recently received a donation of $10,000 from the Desert Tennis Association, a non-profit corporation that organizes tennis events and raises funds for local charities. Its tournament, the 23rd Annual Palm Springs Open, an international tennis tournament held in November at various locations in the Coachella Valley, attracts more than 300 LGBT players from around the world. AAP was the only Coachella Valley charity to benefit from this event.

AAP – Food Samaritans also recently received two awards in the 2017 ‘Best of the Valley’ Reader Picks awards organized by The Desert Sun and Desert Magazine. AAP received the award for “Best Charity” and its annual Evening Under the Stars gala won “Best Fundraising Event.” The 24th annual Evening Under the Stars gala will be held on Saturday, May 6 at the O’Donnell Golf Club in Palm Springs. Martha Reeves & the Vandellas will be the headline entertainment for this spectacular event. A short awards program will recognize this year’s inspirational honorees, followed by a delicious dinner, and a performance by Martha & the Vandellas. After their show, dancing will continue with DJ Jerry Bonham on the main stage and the evening will conclude with an amazing fireworks display. Tickets for the benefit, priced at $395 and $500 per person, are available for purchase and individual VIP seats and sponsorships are also available. To attend or for more information, call 760-325-8481 or click here.

About the new AAP – Food Samaritans Board Members

Mark Messenger
Senior Vice President, Small Business Banking Manager, Inland Empire/Palm Springs Desert Market, Bank of America

Mark Messenger is the Small Business Banking Manager for the Inland Empire/Palm Springs Desert Markets at Bank of America. In this role, Mark leads a team of 16 Small Business Bankers that deliver integrated deposit, credit, treasury solutions, and merchant services to Small Business Clients and prospects. His bankers support 64 Banking Centers in 7 local markets. Mark started his career with the bank in 1979 working in the consumer bank. During his career with Bank of America, Mark has held various leadership positions in Operations, Retail Management, and Business Banking including the positions of Relationship Business Officer, Business Development Officer, Senior Client Manager, and Client Development Group Market Executive for the Pacific Southwest.

Craig Magaw
Operations and Marketing Manager, Palm Springs Financial Group, an advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Craig has had a presence in Palm Springs since 2000 and permanently moved to the region last year. He is graduate of Quinsigamond College in Worcester, MA and has worked many years in the insurance and airline industries. He was introduced to AAP – Food Samaritans by Richard Greenlaw, one of AAP’s original Angels. Since that time, Craig has been closely involved with the organization and watched it evolve from only serving clients with HIV/AIDS related illnesses to its new mission of serving any client that meets the requirements and is living with a range of chronic illnesses.

Art Williams

Art and his partner Gene moved to the Coachella Valley in 2004 to meet new friends and get involved in the community.  As he researched charitable organizations, he discovered that there were many organizations here that serve many important causes. Williams has always been a supporter of the arts, and immediately began supporting the theater, museums, and numerous charities. Art and Gene are proud to support many causes and the great work they do, but one organization held a special appeal for them: AAP – Food Samaritans.  They were impressed by the way AAP serves the community with an extremely small staff.  Williams realized that AAP’s lack overhead means that a significant portion of donations to AAP – Food Samaritans directly supports AAP’s food voucher distribution program. It was for this reason that they increased their level of giving and has proudly agreed to serve on the AAP – Food Samaritans board of directors.

Now in its 25th year of service to the community, AAP – Food Samaritans of Palm Springs remains dedicated to providing nutritional support to improve the quality of the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Initiated by a small group of concerned citizens led by the late Gloria Greene and Jeannette Rockefeller, AAP provides nutritional support to members of the community with low incomes. For more information, please call 760-325-8481 or click here.