“AIDS Walk San Francisco has never been so important,” said Mark Cloutier, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Each year, the AIDS Walk brings together the best out of our diverse communities and shows the world that the Bay Area remains at the forefront in combating this disease.”
He cited the fact that more people in the Bay Area are living with HIV than ever before, including nearly 19,000 in San Francisco alone. Nonetheless, almost all local AIDS service organizations are facing cuts in government funding at all levels.
The 6-mile walk from Sharon Meadow to the park’s western corner and back featured appearances by Loretta Devine, Roger Reese, former American Idol contestants and cast members from the broadway musical “A Chorus Line.”
The theme of this year’s walk was thoroughly green, and it included composting, better recycling and the introduction of Green Walkers, who opted not to receive any printed or mailed materials.
“With the Foundation’s focus on the overall health of our community, as well as our commitment to preventing new HIV infections, ‘greening’ AIDS Walk made great sense,” said Cloutier. “Every person who participates will walk towards a future where people and our shared environment are both healthier.”
Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised over $65 million for HIV /AIDS programs and services in the SF Bay Area. In 2007 alone, 25,000 participants, many of whom were members of more than 800 corporate and community teams, raised a record sum of $4.6 million for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and more than 40 Bay Area HIV/AIDS organizations.
Funds generated from AIDS Walk San Francisco benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF). For 26 years, SFAF has provided direct services to thousands of people living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. (www.asianjournal.com)