|How you can get involved with the ARC and the fight against AIDS
We invite you to volunteer with the
AIDS Resource Council and to become a member of
the AIDS Resource Council, as well. Annual memberships begin at $5, with checks
payable to AIDS Resource Council. All member fees and donations
are tax deductible. Of course, membership dues of more than $5
and donations of any amount are welcome.
Mail your name, mailing address, phone
number and email address to us at AIDS Resource Council, 260 N. 5th Ave. Suite D, Rome, GA 30161. You can also download our
membership application (Word .doc download) and mail or fax
it to the AIDS Resource Council office. AIDS Resource Council
is a tax-exempt,
non-profit 501(c)3 organization.
Frank Tant, all-star volunteer, peer educator & board member
AIDS Resource Council volunteer battles AIDS by getting involved;
Tant copes with HIVBy Noelle Brooks
by servicing others in part through the AIDS Resource Council.
Diagnosed with HIV in 1988, Rome resident Frank Tant has found solace in volunteerism and in dedicating his life to HIV education and prevention. In this way, Tant has become one of the AIDS virus’s biggest combatants.
“I don’t want anyone else to have to sit down with their parents and tell them that they have a disease that will probably kill them before their parents die,” Tant said, who had a similar conversation with his own parents.
Tant’s need to raise awareness about AIDS has led to his involvement with the AIDS Resource Council. Tant has been a board member for eleven years, and works in the office as office manager.
Executive Director, Jeanne Cahill stated that “He’s very dependable and he’s certainly passionate about helping people infected with HIV. He has said that the work he does in the office gives him a reason to get up in the morning.”
Tant also has a hand in creating fundraisers and coordinating a variety of services that the AIDS Resource Council provides. One such service is the AIDS Resource Council food program. Client's in need of food are referred to the Rome Action Ministries food bank. We also have a limited supply of food in our office for our clients in need.
“If I had one word to describe Frank, I would use committed,” said John Rivest, friend and former Board President of AIDS Resource Council. “He’s extremely committed to the AIDS Resource Council and the work that he does.”
Taking HIV testing to the community
In addition to the food service, Tant facilitates HIV testing for the AIDS Resource Council, administering tests in the office Monday through Thursday of every week. He also does HIV testing at local schools and health fairs.
“We estimate that 30% of the people infected with HIV don’t know because they don’t get tested,” Tant said. “And getting tested is the only way to know.”
Tant grew up in Rome, Ga. and he worked as a real estate agent in 1979 as the youngest licensed realtor in Floyd County, he says.
“Being a kid, and the interest rates being the highest they had ever been….I only sold one house,” Tant said.
After his unsuccessful venture into real estate, Tant began working at restaurants in Atlanta in 1980, including a four-star restaurant named Carsley’s. Tant worked at Carsley’s from 1985 to 1987, moving up to general manager in 1986. It is here that one of Tant’s favorite national figures frequented.
“Coretta Scott King used to visit [this] restaurant,” Tant said, who named one of his two dogs Coretta after King. “She was an amazing woman…I thought the world of her.”
Tant moved to Key West just before Carsley’s closed in 1987, and began managing a restaurant called Coconuts. It is here that Tant met his partner, Bill Rennie. The two moved to Manhattan in June 1987 and in 1990, Tant lost Rennie to the HIV virus.
Paying the price