As a 501(C)3 we have a board of directors comprised of Angel Unaware families, retired police commander (and founder of Angels), teachers, PR specialist, teen representative, and volunteers. For a complete list please contact Angels Unaware, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Members’ Biographies
Hi, I am Kathy Nuanes, one of the founders of Angels Unaware. I adopted my 13 month old niece Clarice, after my sister dead from AIDS in 1989; Clarice also had AIDS. In my desperate need to connect with others raising children with HIV/AIDS, Angels Unaware was formed; a nonprofit run 100% by volunteers designed to provide encouragement and support to children and their families living with HIV/AIDS. After Clarice died from AIDS related complications when she was six years old, I continued to support Angels Unaware and their biggest program Camp Ray-Ray; an annual free family camp in the Rocky Mountains. I have developed long lasting relationships with Angels Unaware families and volunteers that touch my soul and allow me gracefully a connection to those I have lost from AIDS. I remain involved with the local AIDS community because the story of living with AIDS is not over. This preventable disease continues to infect and shorten the lives of our babies, youth, and adults. I plan to continue to support Angels Unaware until there is no longer a need for this organization and AIDS is defeated.
Oriana Sanchez: I became aware of Angels Unaware when my mother decided to foster a baby girl who had been born to a mom with AIDS. My mom needed a place to be with other parents and family members experiencing the fear and uncertainty of either possibly loosing a child or leaving their child behind; and how to navigate a world full of fear and hostility towards people with this horrible diagnosis. She thankfully found a remarkable woman who had started a wonderful organization where families could come to support one another, laugh with one another and most importantly be themselves with one another, and not hid what they were going through or be judged because of it. My mom asked me to come and be a part of the group so I could learn more about the disease and about the people it affected. I was 21 and the year was 1992. I became ver attached to the group and was asked to be on the Board. I felt it was one small way I could give back and make sure there was always a safe place for families to come and be themselves. Twenty-four years later, I’m still here (and thankfully, so is my sister) because stigma sill exists, HIV/AIDS sill exists, people still need a place to be where people understand what they are going through, and have a place where they can forget their troubles for awhile.
I am Kristen Klaassen. During graduate school I met a remarkable woman, Barb Massine Johnson, who became a foster mom to a sweet darling boy named Raymond Peña. I helped take care of him while she took classes. I taught him how to swim, ski and we played a lot! He taught me how to love without judgement and see beauty in everything. He died very quickly at the young age of 4 from a strep infection. On his death bed in April 1994, Barb said we have to start a camp for children and families with HIV/AIDS. I thought she had lost her marbles! But, 13 months later Angels Unaware welcomed us into their non-profit group that offered monthly support groups and we added a new family camp. Camp Ray-Ray hosted the first weekend camp for families with children who were infected or affected by AIDS in May of 1995! It was the ONLY camp in the country specific to families, and it continued to be the only one for 10 years. I was asked to be on the Board for Angels Unaware after that first camp and have been involved ever since. I love the spirit, love, compassion, friendship and family focus of Angels Unaware and our beautiful Camp Ray-Ray. It’s etched in my heart and soul and has made me a better person!
I am Joan Campbell. Before retiring, I worked for the Jefferson County School District for 33 years as an elementary teacher in the Arvada area with most of my experience teaching multi-cultural, low income students and families. I became increasingly aware of the problems and challenges HIV/AIDS families faced in the early 1990’s. At that time, the worst thing a child could be called was an “AIDS kid”. I decided I had to find out more and do what I could to encourage respect for all children. After retiring, I had the opportunity to become acquainted with Kathy Nuanes and learn about Angels Unaware and become more involved. I continue to see the importance of making everyone aware that HIV and AIDS are major health issues. Advances have been made in research and treatment but the health concerns are still very real and life-threatening. Although Angels Unaware is managed by unpaid volunteers, providing support and a yearly camp for our families depends on the generosity of donors.
Laurie McNulty: My mom, Ellie McNulty was a long time board member and a silent behind the scenes volunteer for Angels Unaware and Camp Ray-Ray. In 1993 mom met Clarice a two- year old girl living with AIDS. Mom fell in love with the child and developed a close relationship with Clarice and her family. My mom saw first-hand the benefits of uniting families living with HIV/AIDS. She saw the support, encouragement and healing that occurred when families shared their HIV/AIDS journey.
My mom would call the children with AIDS her “Little Darlings” and would embrace each child with as if they were her own grandchildren. In October 2010, my mom passed away. Angels Unaware named a break room at Camp Ray-Ray, Ellie’s Deli where kids go to get snacks, in memory of mom. I have taken my mom’s lead and replaced my mom on Angels Unaware board of directors. Sitting on the board, I see volunteers who give unending service to a cause that remains a hidden secret within our communities.