WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A newsmaker worldwide, who was born in a Lafayette hospital, gave Thursday night's keynote address for AIDS Awareness Week at Purdue University.
Cleve Jones is the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. What started in 1985 with one panel to honor a friend who was killed by the disease has turned into 48,000 panels remembering more than 94,000 people worldwide.
"While I only lived here a couple of years, my father's side of the family, we are Hoosiers for many generations," Jones said. "I grew up with Hoosier values and it's cool to be back here. It's kind of poignant."
At times, his message to about 200 people in attendance was emotional as he remembered friends who have passed away.
But after more than 25 years of involvement, he said he draws energy from motivating others to action.
"I love this work, I love connecting with people," he told News 18.
Jones said he has two main purposes. First, to remind people that, while there's good news that people on medication won't transmit the virus to others, there's still no vaccine or cure. Second, to encourage people to get tested.
Pride Lafayette Inc. is commending the mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette for their stance against a proposed constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. But other major community entities have yet to take a stand for or against it.
Bauer Family Resources is getting a boost from the Alcoa Foundation. Funds will go towards creating youth programs that will help children grow development skills.
Three sections of the Hoosier Heartland Highway in Tippecanoe County are set to be re-named in recognition of three Medal of Honor recipients.