The Mercedes Hotle Legacy Fund

The Mercedes Hotle Alliance Health Project Legacy Fund represents the cornerstone gift in the UCSF Alliance Health Project Endowment Campaign. Mercedes understood the Alliance Health Project’ challenge to sustain crucial services in the face of dwindling funding. As such, Mercedes left AHP an extremely generous gift in her will. To acknowledge her life and her concern for the profound effect AIDS has had on millions of others and to ensure that her gift to AHP best represents her desires, we have created this fund in her memory.

About Mercedes Hotle

Mercedes Elizabeth Jackson Hotle was a 32-year-old San Francisco native who lived in Los Angeles and died in a sudden and tragic automobile accident in August 2002. Among her many interests, Mercedes was a writer, composer, poet and singer who loved to read and ski. She also loved Hawaii, where her family has historic roots. Mercedes was planning to move back to the Bay Area and, at the time of her accident, was driving from Los Angeles to Hillsborough to visit her grandmother, Mrs. Howard James Hickingbotham.

Mercedes was the only child of Diane Hickingbotham McNabb and the late James Emerson Hotle, the stepdaughter of Mark Hopkins McNabb, and sister of Chelsea Carter Hopkins McNabb. Her maternal great-great-grandfather George Carter was the second governor of the territory of Hawaii (1903–1907). For many years, her mother’s family owned Shreve and Company, San Francisco’ oldest jewelers.

Mercedes’s father, James Hotle, was one of five children born to Arline Towne Hotle and Robert Franklin Hotle, formerly of Piedmont, California. Jim is survived by his three sisters, Arline Smith of Healdsburg, California, Louise Smith of Graton, California, and Helen Ferrin of Flagstaff, Arizona. Mercedes’ paternal ancestors came to the San Francisco Bay Area as pioneers in the California paper industry.

Please Join Mercedes

Like many Americans, Mercedes struggled with drug use and depression throughout her short life. She understood firsthand the difficulties life could deliver. She also knew that AHP, one of the oldest AIDS organizations in the world, has spent 20 years helping people cope not only with HIV disease, but also with depression, anxiety, and substance use.

Mercedes’s interest in AIDS was brought on initially as she watched her father die of AIDS in the early 1980s. Her gift to the Alliance Health Project honors her father’s memory, the courage of her own struggles, and her family’s tradition–which she inherited from both her parents–of service to the community with the goal of helping individuals better their lives.

We hope you will join with Mercedes and make a donation to the Mercedes Hotle Alliance Health Project Legacy Fund to support the future work of AHP.

Make a Donation or Create Your Own Legacy Fund

To make a donation to the Mercedes Hotle Alliance Health Project Legacy Fund, call Jose Portillo at AHP at 415-502-7276 or e-mail

To create your own fund, please contact James W. Dilley, MD, AHP’s Executive Director, at 415-476-6442, or UCSF Alliance Health Project, Box 0884, San Francisco, CA 94143-0884. Or contact Phil DeCarlo, Chair of the Alliance Health Project Endowment Campaign, at 415-476-6440.


Check the box that says:
“This contribution is in honor or memory of someone” and enter Mercedes Hotle’s name.