The Phoenix AIDS Walk began in 1987. At its peak, the event raised $1 million and was one of the largest community events in Phoenix. After 16 years, the organization that hosted the event closed in 2003 and the Phoenix AIDS Walk disappeared. 4 years later, a group of individuals approached Aunt Rita’s Foundation, which up until that time hosted the annual SAVORlife Fundraiser. Aunt Rita’s Foundation agreed to host the Phoenix AIDS Walk and it was reintroduced in 2008.
I walked in the AIDS Walk in 2009 on Barbra Seville’s team known as “Barbra Seville’s Wonderful 100.”
The idea was simple: get 100 people to each raise $100. In 2009 Barbra’s team raised the most money, about $12,000. The team won in 2010 raising over $17,000 and this year the Wonderful 100 won again by raising over $24,000 to go to AIDS prevention, education, and treatment for people living with the disease in Arizona. The grand total raised this year was $336,739.42. Very nice.
The AIDS Walk is every first weekend in October which coincides with the Phoenix Rainbows Festival, a free event held at Heritage Square downtown. I try to go every year. The event marks the beginning of fall and the end of the Pride Season which in Phoenix begins in April followed by many other smaller events in Arizona and Pride Celebrations in other states. I try to support as many as I can, and it doesn’t take much to convince me to travel.
Thank you to everyone who came out to support a great cause. With our continued collective efforts we will someday rid the world of this terrible disease.