February 16, 2019

Congratulations to Robert Bell!

Robert Bell

Senior Pride takes particular pride in congratulating Robert Bell, who, on February 16, 2019, received the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF) Steve Hall Award at their annual Out Brunch.

Robert has been instrumental in the growth of Senior Pride as an organization, since it was part of Wingspan. He has served as chair and co-chair of events presenting films and authors, worked tirelessly to develop funding and resources and provided leadership in countless ways as a member of the Senior Pride Steering Committee. Robert volunteers in many ways including collating the newsletter, tabling at special events and participating in serving meals to LGBTQ youth: illustrations of his modesty and commitment to team work. Like Steve Hall, Robert is willing to take on whatever job needs to be done.

Robert and his partner Tom Buchanan work tirelessly for the LGBTQ and allies community in many ways.

Robert serves as board member of the Pima Council on Aging (PCOA) and was Board Chair (2018). He makes presentations on behalf of Project Visibility, helping senior housing and health facilitites to be more responsive to the unique needs of LGBT seniors. For ten years, he has acted as mentor to a special needs youth. Robert volunteered weekly for ten years for EON, Tucson’s LGBT youth group. He co-chaired the capital campaign for the Thornhill-Lopez Center on Fourth, Southern Arizona’s youth center and he continues to work with the LGBT&S Alliance Fund.

Robert Bell retired in 2006 after a successful career as Senior Counsel Director of Government Affairs for USG, a major building materials manufacturer. The professional accomplishment of which he is most proud is serving as a founding member of the US Green Building Council.

In Chicago, he chaired the $24 million capital campaign to open a major new LGBTQ facility known as The Center on Halsted and served on its founding board as chair of the development committee. Yay Robert!

Who was Steve Hall?

by Kent Burbank (Kent was Executive Director of Wingspan, Tucson’s LGBT Community Center, from 2001 to 2008 (the center closed in 2014). Currently, Kent serves as Instructional Faculty, Pima Community College.)

Steve Hall (born 4/8/60 and died 9/29/2001) was instrumental in Wingspan’s shift from an all volunteer organization to one with paid staff. He had a vision for what the Community Center could be and worked tirelessly as a volunteer to make that vision a reality. I remember Steve’s infectious energy and enthusiasm — and his warm smile and caring heart. He perfectly balanced the need to dream big with the skills to make it happen. Steve was always willing to take on any task that needed to get done — everything from fundraising to accounting to answering the front desk phones. He truly gave all of himself to the cause and exemplified the true spirit of volunteerism.