AIDS Walks Held in Seattle, Cleveland and Around Canada Over Weekend
Several AIDS fundraising walks were held in Seattle, Cleveland and Canada over the weekend, and the Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report has summarized some highlights of the events below:
- Seattle: About 3,500 people participated in the AIDS Walk & Fun Run held Sunday in Seattle, Wash., the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Participants raised approximately $400,000, but the final total will not be released until later this week. Chuck Kuehn, executive director of the Lifelong AIDS Alliance, said participation this year was lower than last year, when about 4,000 people raised $650,000 during the event (Everett-Haynes, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/23). Kuehn said that about 9,000 people in King County are HIV-positive, and 400 county residents contract HIV each year. "We're 20 years into the epidemic and it's hard to keep people's interest. The reality is that there is no cure in sight. The reality is there are more people living with AIDS in King County and Washington than ever before," he said (Associated Press, 9/23). But Washington Gov. Gary Locke (D) said that the state has "come a long way in its battle against AIDS," noting that AIDS-related mortality in the state has dropped from two people per day in 1996 to two people each week today (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/23). Actor Ian McKellen, who starred in the films "Lord of the Rings" and "Richard III," participated in the Seattle event. "There is only one war that is worth fighting about -- against AIDS. It's the war we can all win," he said (Associated Press, 9/23).
- Cleveland: An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people participated in the 12th annual AIDS Walk/Run in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday, making the event the largest to date, according to the walk's coordinators, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Although the final contribution total will not be known until tomorrow, organizers hoped that the event would raise $200,000. Lisa Kropf, head of the public relations firm that coordinated the event, said that corporate sponsors donated more than $80,000 to cover the entire cost of the event. The proceeds from the walk will go toward seven local not-for-profit HIV/AIDS groups (Treffinger, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 9/23).
- Canada: AIDS walks were held in 125 communities across Canada over the weekend, the Vancouver Sun reports. Organizers of the 17th annual AIDS walk held Sunday in Vancouver said that 7,000 participants raised more than $255,000 for the event. Glen Hillson, chair of the walk, said that the event may have drawn the largest number of people to date (Vancouver Sun, 9/23). Approximately 20,000 people participated in Montreal's 10th annual AIDS walk on Sunday, the Montreal Gazette reports. The walk raised about $255,000 for HIV/AIDS groups. Former Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin, who participated in the walk, said that more HIV/AIDS funding is needed, particularly for HIV prevention programs (Lampert, Montreal Gazette, 9/23).