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Press Release

Darrell L. Tucci to receive State Farm Good Neighbor Award at Palm Springs Equality Awards on October 10

PALM SPRINGS, CA, August 20, 2015 - As Chief Development Officer for Desert AIDS Project, Darrell Tucci is in a visible role within the Palm Springs community. But as a person whose job it is to ask others to engage in social justice – by opening their hearts and wallets – he’s a man who leads by example.

Before coming to D.A.P., Tucci lived in Los Angeles, where he served in the dual roles of Chief Development Officer and Director of Donor Services for Liberty Hill Foundation, whose vision statement declares, in part, “We will not rest until society provides justice and equality for all.” Since 1976, Liberty Hill has taken on significant challenges in advancing environmental initiatives, LGBTQ equality, and issues related to poverty and racial justice.

While living in LA, Tucci was very involved with the “No on 8” campaign, which was dedicated to defeating the now-infamous Proposition 8. Although voters approved “Prop 8” in 2008, subsequent decisions by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court overturned marriage-inequality first statewide and then nationally, thanks to groups like Equality California. Raising tens of thousands of dollars, as well as helping organize rallies and protests, Tucci even served as one of the only Democratic spokespeople for the Republicans against Prop 8 group. In addition, he was also one of the two co-founders of the OutFund Giving Circle that continues to grant monies to LGBT-related causes in Los Angeles County.

“When I heard that Darrell had been chosen for this award, I couldn't think of anyone that was more deserving of the title of ‘good neighbor,'” said Barbara Keller, board chair of D.A.P. and host committee member for the Palm Spring Equality Awards. “Not only is he highly effective in his job as a fundraiser but this is a man with a great big heart who understands what it means to give back to his community in so many ways.”

That giving-back started at a young age but gained real momentum after Tucci graduated magna cum laude with a degree in psychology from Montclair State University in New Jersey. Before moving to the west coast, he had served in a variety of community leadership roles.

Perhaps most notable among them was Buddies of New Jersey, the foremost resource center in northern New Jersey for people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Serving as a board member for several years, with his last two years as board president, the organization honored him twice. In 2006, they presented him with the Doug Haura Award, in recognition of his years of service, and in 2013, he received the Reverend Bruce Davidson Award for assistance with fundraising.

Tucci was drawn to the cause of HIV and AIDS on a personal level. “While I was still very young, both my grandfather and my best childhood friend died of AIDS. When presented the opportunity to join D.A.P., I knew it was the next, right step to take, not only for my career but because the mission resonated with my soul,” Tucci said. “In less than three years, Palm Springs has become home in a way that no other place has. I'm a lucky man to have so many great colleagues and friends here.”

If you'd like to celebrate Tucci and all of the other honorees, including D.A.P. major donor and social justice advocate Geoff Kors, the countdown begins with a party hosted at the home of Dimitri Bakakos and Pjetur Sigurdson on Saturday, September 12. You can RSVP via email to or phone at 323-848-9801. For tickets to the Palm Springs Equality Awards on October 10, visit


Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) serves our community with primary and HIV-specialty services, including medical care, case management, and social services, like food, housing, and counseling. D.A.P. also offers free and confidential HIV testing at a number of locations throughout the communities it serves. Comprehensive sexual health services, including HIV testing, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP,) STI testing and treatment, and well-woman services, are also available at The DOCK, located at D.A.P.’s main campus at 1695 N. Sunrise Way at Vista Chino in Palm Springs. To learn more about Desert AIDS Project, please call 760-323-2118, visit or find them on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.

Barry Dayton
Director of Marketing & Communications
760-323-2118 ext 434
760-992-0434 – direct


"Reproduced with permission - Desert AIDS Project "

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