2017 Award Winners

Dea Brasgalla–The Steve Hall Volunteer Award

Dea Award

Dea Brasgalla has shown commitment to Tucson’s LGBTQ Community over the past 12 years. She has sustained her participation in Wingspan and Senior Pride through many changes, economic crisis, and the aqcuisition of Wingspan by SAAF in 2014.

She continues to commit herself to visibility, participation, equality, and respect for LGBTQ Seniors and for all LGBTQ people. She serves on the board of Senior Pride as is a commissioner on the City of Tucson GLBT Commission.



Miki Odawa–The Godat Award

Miki is an extraordinaryMiki Odawa human being who has changed the lives of hundreds of trans folks here in southern Arizona and across the country. She is highly accomplished and could have moved to the Sonoran Desert and relaxed and retired.

Instead, she took the reigns of SAGA to ensure that trans folks were supported and understood. Miki is quietly assertive and gently persuasive. She is content to work hard behind the scenes. When she does speak, she tells the powerful truth about the community, about all of us and never stoops to a self-serving soliloquy.


Laura Alexander–Dr. Jean Baker Community Ally Award

Laura Alexander is one Laura Alexanderof the outstanding allies of Tucson’s LGBTQ Community. Laura’s support of our community started almost as soon as she moved to Tucson from Madison, Wisconsin. She noticed an appeal posted in Antigone Bookstore for volunteers for a newly formed LGBT Domestic Violence Project being organized by Lavina Tomer. She offered her help which was gratefully accepted.

Previously, Laura served as the Executive Director of the Madison Women’s Center and brought experience and talent in community organizing and fund development to the DV Project (now the SAAF Anti-Violence Program). Fast forward through the decades and Laura has continued to be a staunch supporter of Tucson’s LGBTQ Community. Laura is an outstanding choice to honor the legacy of one of our most treasured allies, Dr. Jean Baker.


Many excellent nominations were received and the selection committee worked diligently to select this year’s recipients. Many thanks to the selection committee members: Kristen Birner, Kent Burbank, Terrance Cheung, Casey Chimneystar Condit, Supervisor Richard Elías, Luis Greer, Daisy Jenkins, Gib Murray, Erin Russ, Lavina Tomer, & John-Peter Wilhite.

The mission of the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is to cultivate a healthy and stigma-free society through transformative action.