By STEVEN G. VEGHRudolf ''Peter'' Haffenreffer of Cape Elizabeth will be honored tonight with the Maine Lesbian & Gay Political Alliance's Cameron Duncan Award for his support of, and volunteer work in, the gay and lesbian community.
©Copyright 1997 Guy Gannett Communications
''Peter was chosen to receive this award because we felt his dedication and commitment to the HIV and AIDS community is unequaled,'' said Karen Geraghty, past president of the alliance.
Frances Peabody, herself an honored, well-known volunteer in the HIV and AIDS community, called Greater Portland ''pretty darn lucky to have him here.''
Peabody House, an AIDS hospice in Portland, was founded by Peabody with help from others, including Haffenreffer.
''Peabody House would never have gotten started without him,'' she said. ''He backed us financially so we could get a loan from the bank to buy the house in the first place.''
Peabody said private fund-raising for the project was difficult, because some potential donors were wary of the stigma surrounding AIDS.
''But Peter was there to help us raise money, and because he gave liberally, he attracted other givers to do the same thing,'' she said.
Geraghty noted that Haffenreffer not only heads Peabody House's board of directors, but is a frequent worker in the hospice. ''He's there, on the front lines.''
The award memorializes Cameron Duncan, who was one of the first people in Maine to become infected with the HIV virus and AIDS, and to acknowledge his illness publicly.
''He was an activist and a leader and a genuinely wonderful person,'' Geraghty said. ''The award was named after him for his extraordinary courage.''
Tonight's awards banquet is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Augusta Civic Center.
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