Honoring those who quietly serve was the theme of an AIDS awards dinner Friday night at the Salt Lake Hilton.

Close to 300 people attended the 1996 Community Awards Banquet hosted by the People With AIDS Coalition Of Utah. All proceeds go to helping people whose lives are impacted by AIDS."I just wanted to do something about it," said Katherine Zimmer, who bought a table with friends. "AIDS is such a frustrating thing. It's completely preventable and yet it's such a tragic disease."

The $45-a-plate event is the coalition's major fund-raiser for the year. But it wasn't the main purpose of the evening, said Don Austin, chairman of the planning committee.

"Not only is this a fund-raiser for the coalition," he said, "but it's really a celebration of people who are just putting in a lot of hard work daily."

Austin said this year's award winners were special because they made a big impact without seeking any glory. Award recipients were honored for volunteer work, compassionate medical assistance or because of sustained financial and material contributions, Austin said.

Terrlynn Crenshaw, Anne Stromness, George Peppinger, Kindly Gifts, Steven Black, Richard Carter and Julie Mohr all received awards.

Cori Sutherland, director of the coalition, said they hoped to raise $25,000 from the event.

The non-profit coalition works with the Utah AIDS Foundation to provide education and support services for people impacted by HIV/AIDS. Forty to 50 percent of their funding comes from the annual banquet, Sutherland said.

The program included a silent auction, dinner, award presentations and a speech by the Rev. Dr. Barbara King. Music was provided by Elise West, who donated a portion of CD sales at the event to the coalition.

The banquet is held annually in conjunction with a conference on living with AIDS. The theme of this year's conference is "healing is in your hands" and will be held today and Sunday at Westminster College in the Gore School of Business.