"For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Joyce LaBriola and I am one of the founders of the JTMF.
"When James passed away, Tracy Antozzeski, David Maurio, Missy Abrahams and I decided to put on a benefit in memory of our dear friend. That first year was one of the most special times of my life. I recruited my friend Doug Edelson to audition for the title role in that first production of “Jeffery”. Doug brought his friend Bruce Frangione, who was a godsend backstage and in the lobby for the reception. And I got a chance to reconnect with Brian Bara, who I’d worked with as a teenager and was so blessed to find him back in my life. This group of seven comprised the first board and thus, JTMF was born.
"In 2007, my 'real job' brought me to
"JTMF West held our first event April 17, 2010. Artists for Life: Edmonton raised over $8,500(C). It was truly inspirational, for a community that didn’t know James; that doesn’t know me; and who hadn’t been huge supporters of HIV/AIDS in recent years to come out and support us - not only with their checkbooks, but also with incredible spirit and energy. The event celebrated local
"What made the event even more perfect was the presence of 3 of my best friends on the planet – David Maurio, John Claps and Tracy Antozzeski who had traveled from
"When doing media for the JTMF West event, I was asked several times how James’ death had inspired me. I think a more appropriate question would be: “How had James’ life inspired me?” My friendship with James, my knowing him, has made me want to become a better person.
"Doing JTMF, both here and especially in NJ, is the single most important thing I’ve ever done. The work continues to inspire me to do better, to do more...all the time.
"Until there’s a cure...."