Local and Community News
Detroit AIDS Walk Off to an Early Start
May 8, 2003
When Yvette Tremaine's face and story of losing her HIV-positive father appeared on posters advertising the annual AIDS Walk Detroit in Royal Oak last year, the response was significant. "When the poster was all over town, I had so many people calling and saying, 'Oh my gosh. I didn't know. Where do I sign up?'" said Tremaine.
Walk organizers say this response is why they are busy preparing for the September 21st event now. They hope to attract more walkers and recruit more corporate sponsors -- a considerable feat in a tough economy. "We run a 13-month year, even though there is no such thing. It's a never-ending process, and the reason is that AIDS is a never-ending disease," said volunteer Ken Rosen.
This year's 13th annual AIDS Walk Detroit aims at surpassing the $329,000 raised in 2002, said Rick Lee, the walk's executive director and only full-time employee. About $270,000 came from pledges by 10,000 walkers and the rest came from corporate sponsors, whose donations cover overhead costs of the walk. "So far, we're on par with last year," Lee said. "I do a dance every time I get a sponsorship -- or, at least, when they don't say no. That means there's still a chance." Lee added that 22 agencies were funded last year.
This year's campaign, focused on the behind-the-scenes stories of people who choose to walk each year, will debut in July in public service announcements on radio and television, in addition to posters and flyers. Though official registration begins June 25, requests for forms are already trickling in, said Rosen. For Tremaine, who will be walking for her fourth time, the date is already marked on the calendar. For more information on the walk, visit www.aidswalkdetroit.org.
Detroit Free Press
05.01.03; Amber Hunt
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.