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    30th Annual SF AIDS Walk

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    BT 7.7. 1-28 final_Page_10_Image_0004Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised nearly $86 million for life-saving HIV prevention, testing, and care programs and services. It is the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California. AIDS Walk San Francisco has matured into a Bay Area tradition, bringing together tens of thousands of participants and volunteers; hundreds of corporate, community, and friends and family teams; and hundreds of thousands of donors from the Bay Area and across the country.

    This year’s event benefits over 40 San Francisco AIDS service agencies, including the following:

    Project Inform helps to advise research for a cure, promotes HIV prevention, and represents the needs and interests of all people with HIV. Project Inform has received more than 1 million requests for information from people with HIV/AIDS about how and when to treat HIV, how to protect their overall health, and how to access affordable health care. http://www.projectinform.org/

    Project Open Hand prepares 2,500 nutritious meals and provides 200 bags of healthy groceries every day to help sustain those battling serious illnesses, isolation, or the health challenges of aging. Project Open Hand also provides nutrition counseling and education to improve people’s strength and lead to healthier lives. http://www.openhand.org/

    San Francisco General Hospital Ward 86 supports the “Getting to Zero” Coalition, which aims to make San Francisco the first city with zero new HIV infections, zero stigma and zero deaths. Funds raised by AIDS Walk San Francisco will benefit a pilot project at Ward 86 on HIV and aging, addressing one of the most critical issues people living with the disease face today. https://hiv.ucsf.edu/care/locations.html

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    Thanks go to this year’s corporate sponsors: ABC7, Chevron, Bank of the West, Gap Inc., Gilead Sciences, Quest Diagnostics, Macy’s, Union Bank, Wells Fargo and Williams-Sonoma Inc. Thanks also go to the event’s organizers and many volunteers, as well as to the celebrity supporters, elected officials, musicians and the host of HIV/AIDS leaders from across the Bay Area who will appear at the Opening Ceremony (to be announced). You never know who might show up! For example, the late great Robin Williams attended and spoke in 1996, while the cast of the hit Broadway show Wicked performed for participants in 2010.

    The real stars of the event, however, are the over 20,000 participants who are expected to attend. Many of us here at the San Francisco Bay Times have gone over the years and have had a great time. The 6.2-mile (10k) route winds its way through Golden Gate Park, beginning and ending in Sharon Meadow. If you have never done this fundraising walk before, consider doing so this year. It is so much fun, with delightful, planned surprises around nearly every section of the park. Last year alone, more than $2.2 million was raised.

    The schedule is as follows:

    8:35 am

    Gold Team Photo Shoot Begins

    9:00 am

    Sign-In and Awards Open

    9:30 am

    Aerobic Warm-Up

    9:45 am

    Opening Ceremony

    10:30 am

    AIDS Walk San Francisco Begins

    10:30 am

    KidZone Opens

    12:30 pm

    Post Walk Concert

    As the above indicates, the walk takes roughly 2 to 3 hours to complete, and is bookended by a lot of good-natured relaxing and socializing in our beautiful landmark park! We can think of no better way to spend a heart-of-summer day in San Francisco. To register, call 415-615-WALK or go to: sf.aidswalk.net