December 2nd, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Tonight was a labor of love. I just want to thank everyone who came out in support of Project: Zero Ohio’s Loud and Proud. Without the amazing and generous support of so many, tonight would not have been possible. As a co-founder of the organization with Steve Weaver and Randy Sharma, I am constantly reminded of what an amazing gift it is to do this work and to be inspired by such an amazing and caring community.
Thank you to each and everyone of you who came out tonight – Dustin, Hannah, Kelley, Nancy, Jason, Liz, Amanda, Charles, Alexis, Jeff, Tom, Kyle, Adam, Bev, Kira, Kenny, Leslie, Kelly and more. You made tonight.
THANK YOU Rachel Gordon and the entire crew at CD101 /102.5. You have been so generous and giving of love and support and we are so indebted to you for believing in us from the beginning.
THANK YOU Timothy Wolf Starr and the Small Business Beanstalk. Again, supporters of this cause from the beginning. Forever indebted.
THANK YOU Alexis Peronne and Columbus Alive for being such amazing friend throughout this journey. We love you so deeply.
THANK YOU Rajesh Lahoti, Sam Schisler, and the staff of Axis Nightclub. You are all so giving and so ready to jump in when needed. Thank you.
THANK YOU Formula AM for the delicious tasting tonight. Dave, you are such a class act and your product is definitely one of my favorite things. So excited for what the future holds! THANK YOU We Are Glitterati for also joining us and taking pictures with your fab photo booth tonight!!
THANK YOU Belvedere (RED) for sponsoring tonight’s event and helping us make a difference in this fight against HIV and AIDS.
THANK YOU Joel Diaz and ARC Ohio for supporting us in our efforts.
THANK YOU Cheesy Truck and Backdoor Burritos for keeping our hungry stomachs filled tonight! Justin and Backdoor Burritos, welcome to the neighborhood! SO DELICIOUS!
TO OUR PERFORMERS:
THANK YOU DJ Charles. You gave us the vibe tonight to make a difference.
THANK YOU Shaw Brothers. You are so absolutely amazing and the music is so gorgeous. You made several new fans tonight! I hope we can do it again!
THANK YOU Will Reed. Thank you for singing “Fly Me To The Moon”. Thank you for coming all the way from Cincinnati. Thank you for being so amazing and donating the sales of UNDER THE COVERS on iTunes until January 15. THANK YOUTHANK YOU THANK YOU. Anything you need from me, just ask.
THANK YOU Hairplane. Aaron, Nicole, and crew. You are one of my favorites, and I know this is just the beginning of an amazing relationship. I cannot wait for the next time and maybe we can collaborate sometime? I would love that, ya know.
THANK YOU Freesia Balls. Your talent is second only to your heart. Thank you for always giving. I am your biggest fan.
THANK YOU Virginia West. You never wait to be asked and are the first to offer your talents. You are such an amazing source of inspiration and your talent is awe-inspiring. THANK YOU. I love you.
2011 has been the beginning of our movement. 2012 we will continue to work for this cause.
Thank you for pushing us to go further on this journey.
We will continue to be LOUD and PROUD.
November 29th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
This Friday, I am so please to be able to work on bringing this event to Axis with Randy and Steve. Things are just getting started for Project: Zero Ohio, and I cannot thank everyone enough for their love and support in trying to make our community a better place to live.
The entertainment will feature Will Reed, The Shaw Brothers, HAIRPLANE, Virginia West, Penny Tration, Freesia Balls, DJ Charles of the Clampdowns, and more!
And there will be delicious eats to purchase from The Cheesy Truck and Backdoor Burritos as well as samples from one of my favorite things this holiday season to give, FORMULA AM!
And you can get a picture taken by the We Are Glitterati photo booth! Help commemorate World AIDS Day and raise money for Project: Zero Ohio!
November 17th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Tonight, please join Randy Sharma, Steven Weaver, Megan Green, and myself at the Candle Lab in the Short North for the launch of the PRIDE SOAP, created and handcrafted by Stinkybomb Soaps. The soaps are hand poured with each layer having it’s own color/scent: Pink/Black Cherry, Orange/Sweet Orange, Yellow/Vanilla, Green/Spearmint, Blue/Honey Almond, Purple/Lavender.
Stop by The Candle Lab tonight to pick up your very own bar of soap and continue to support the work of Project: Zero Ohio. We’ll have a great line up of tasty beverages and all-star guest bartenders to serve them up to you. All proceeds of the soap goes to help assure that ZERO HIV/AIDS patients in the greater Columbus Area go without the care they need.
November 9th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
This new product, called the PRIDE SOAP, will be made by the locally owned and operated Stinky Bomb Soaps, with proceeds benefitting Project: Zero Ohio.
The product launch will be held at The Candle Lab in the Short North on Thursday, November 17, from 7 pm to 10 pm, and feature amazing and fabulous celebrity bartenders, delicious drinks, and fantastic music all for a good cause.
The PRIDE SOAP will be the second product made to help raise much needed funds for people living with HIV and AIDS who are not receiving the care they need. The first product, the RAINBOW CANDLE, made by The Candle Lab, was launched in July 2011 and has seen great success in raising funds and awareness to this issue.
Project:Zero Ohio was founded in July 2011 by Steve Weaver, owner of the Candle Lab, Randy Sharma, a practicing physician, and Nina West, Super Drag Queen.
By customizing high-quality local products and a planned series of charity events, the organization hopes to not only raise funds for local HIV/AIDS resources, but also reward donors with unique home products.
All proceeds will be donated to community HIV/AIDS resources.
Frustrated with the strain on HIV/AIDs funding and the resulting effect on members of the community, physician Randy Sharma, entrepeneur Steven Weaver, and gay activist/ “Super Drag Queen” Nina West joined forces to help raise funds for local HIV/AIDS charities and resources.
Please visit http://projectzeroohio.com/ for more information.
August 25th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
I am pretty blessed to do what I do. I know I say that a lot but i also believe I can never say it enough. I have an amazing circle of friends, a phenomenal support system in Columbus, and I have no regret. One of things that has happened in my life is find a friendship in Randy Sharma and Steve Weaver. being part of Project: Zero Ohio has given me new energy, drive, and focus.
Every few days, some more pictures come in from out Project: Zero Ohio launch party or from people going into the Candle Lab to purchase the Rainbow Candle (on sale now at all locations ). I thought I would take a few moments out to just post a few of those photos on here. If you are interested in finding out more about The Candle Lab, The Rainbow Candle, or Project: Zero Ohio, please see the information below!!
August 2nd, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
I don’t know where to begin. I can speak for Randy Sharma, Steve Weaver, The Candle Lab, and all of the volunteers who made Friday night’s launch party such a huge success.
Being a part of this project is humbling. From its inception via Twitter with Randy, to a meeting of the minds with Steve, this has been a surreal experience. Our mutual friend, “Dan” united us, and this cause has bound us together as friends. This Rainbow candle is just the beginning for Project: Zero Ohio. I know that Randy, Steve, and I have our sights set high, and with everyone joining in this movement, we will be able to make an impact.
Again, I cannot thank you all enough for coming to the launch. Thank you helping begin this journey and thank you for watching out for all of our brothers and sisters who are living with HIV and AIDS.
July 27th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Two very dear friends of mine, Nina West (local drag queen personality super star), and Dr. Randy Sharma (my Rock Doc, if you ever need a G.P. hes amazing and beyond Mod friendly) teamed up to create Project Zero. It is a concept for local business to create a product that all the profits will go to help HIV patients that can not afford their medications because of the new government systems that have recently been enforced. Did you know if you dont have health insurance, you are expected to pay $1,000 a month for your medication??!! I mean seriously…
The first creation, is the Rainbow candle, that will be launches at the new Candle Lab in the short north (on high right next to Press Grill, Posh Pets area) They will be on sale for $15, and it will go to an amazing cause to help your community. I heard in smells like pomegranates and a hint of vanilla. Even if you have never been to the candle lab, its a super cool spot and total worth checking out (custom candles ya’ll heyyy!)
I really hope you can call make it out to their launch this Friday from 7pm- 10pm. Just stop by say hey.. buy a candle, whatever!
Here is the Facebook invite:
Thank you so much!!!
July 25th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Imagine that you were diagnosed with a lethal virus. Now imagine that there were potentially life-saving medications available, but you couldn’t afford them and the resources to assist you had been exhausted.
For hundreds of HIV/AIDS patients in the Greater Columbus Area, they don’t have to imagine; this is their reality.
Having witnessed this plight in the community from different perspectives, three relative strangers – The Candle Lab’s Steven Weaver, primary care physician Randy Sharma, and community activist/ “super drag queen” Nina West – came together to form the non-profit group “Project: Zero Ohio.” The organization’s goal is simple: to assure that ZERO HIV/AIDS patients in the Greater Columbus Area go without the care that they rely on to survive.
In order to raise funds, Project Zero: Ohio will release a series of custom, locally-crafted consumer products that will serve to raise awareness at the same time. Proceeds from each product will be donated to local HIV/AIDS resources such as AIDS Resource Center Ohio (which recently merged with Columbus AIDS Task Force).
On Friday, July 29, Project: Zero Ohio will launch their first product with a public reception from 7-10 PM at The Candle Lab’s Short North location (751 N. High St.). The “Rainbow Candle” boasts a bright, crisp fragrance with fruity undertones and was designed by West and Weaver. It will feature a stunning wrap-around label designed by local graphic designer John Olson. It will retail for $15, like the other gourmet candles at the establishment.
Entertainment will be provided by The Clampdown Dance Party’s DJ Charles Erickson. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by Union Café, and beer and wine will be available.
For the latest details please check Project: Zero Ohio’s Facebook page or follow @projectzeroohio on Twitter. The organization’s website (www.projectzeroohio.com) is expected to go live later this week.
The Other Paper recently featured Project: Zero Ohio in their weekly publication. http://www.theotherpaper.com/entertainment/article_469819c8-b3ae-11e0-bb7c-001cc4c002e0.html
Steven Weaver is a Central Ohio native that recently opened the fourth location of his popular store -The Candle Lab. Since opening his first location in 2005, Weaver has played a pivotal role in the fund-raising efforts of numerous local groups. Most notably, he produced a candle for the ongoing effort behind Wonderland Columbus.
Nina West is a nationally known drag queen and local gay-activist. Over the past decade, West has become a fixture at HIV/AIDS charity events and also hosts the annual “Highball Halloween” event in the Short North.
Randy Sharma, M.D., is a board certified Family Practicioner. He joined Downtown Physicians in July 2006.
July 22nd, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
Come out to Axis Nightclub and enjoy some fabu entertainment as we celebrate Alexis’ Birthday! I will be stopping by after the Candle Lab Launch Party!
June 16th, 2011 by Nina with No Comments
I love my job – anybody that knows me will tell you that. Most days, I leave the office and feel like I’ve put forth my best effort to help people. On occasion, though, I head home feeling defeated. One recent patient encounter changed my perspective altogether;perhaps helping one person at a time simply isn’t enough.
A few years ago, I began seeing “Dan” as a patient. Being uninsured, I only saw him when he had a significant medical issue. Regardless, with his good humor, I always smiled when he appeared on my schedule. With every visit, he’d share his latest softball accomplishments or tell tales of judging drag queen pageants (“It’s the art of illusion, babe!” he’d explain). And every visit would end with me urging him to get his HIV labwork updated.
A few months ago, I received an unpleasant surprise. Dan had finally followed-up with an Infectious Disease specialist. His CD4 count (a marker of the immune system’s strength) had fallen dangerously low. Even worse, with recent changes in funding, he did not qualify for assistance with HIV meds. How could anyone be expected to afford over $1,000 in meds per month? Furthermore, how can our country – with good conscience – pledge billions of dollars in HIV meds to other countries when our neighbors at home are suffering?
Frustrated, I reached out to iconic super drag queen Nina West to join me in raising money locally. Enthusiastically, she agreed to help. Over the next few weeks, we exchanged messages planning some charity events.
Before we could solidify any plans, we got the news that we dreaded; our mutual friend Dan had fallen gravely ill with an opportunistic infection. Not only was his breathing severely compromised, but he had developed a brisk GI bleed. In the time that he was in the ICU, he required numerous units of platelets and 20 units of blood before he stabilized.
Panicked, Nina and I realized that occasional charity events were not reasonable. We needed a more steady, sustainable source of funding. And in that brainstorm-flurry, (the tentatively-titled) “Project Zero” was born – selling customized, locally made products with funds helping to ensure that “zero” HIV/AIDS patients in the Greater Columbus Area would go without treatment simply because they couldn’t afford it.
The creative synergism was unstoppable. The first product on deck? A Nina West designer fragrance candle! We pitched the idea to our friend Steven Weaver, owner of The Candle Lab. Without hesitation, Steve agreed to join us in our crusade. Within days, Nina had developed a secret scent (neither Steve nor I know what it is), and the “Rainbow Candle” was born!
Needless to say, we are very excited about this charity project. We will release more details in the coming days, but anticipate the “Rainbow Candle” to launch with the opening of The Candle Lab – Short North in July. And that will be followed by more products and some very unique surprises.
There has been a lot of love and compassion involved in bringing this project to fruition. It may be a lofty goal, but in life, anything can happen (I never would have imagined – even a few months ago - that a drag queen would become one of my closest friends!) But this is our chance, as a COMMUNITY, to make a difference. We truly believe that we can have a positive effect on some lives, and we would appreciate your support in making this a reality. Whether you purchase our products, or simply spread the word of our effort, it means a lot to us!!
“Be the change that you want to see in the world” – Gandhi
With Love And Respect,