GA Voice

Atlanta AIDS Walk May Be Over, but Fundraisin­g Continues

- Katie Burkholder

This year’s 31st annual AIDS Walk and Music Fest raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for several of Atlanta’s integral HIV/ AIDS organizati­ons — and the fundraisin­g isn’t over yet.

The event, which happened September 24 in Piedmont Park, included a 5k run/walk as well as performanc­es from “Love & HipHop: Miami” star Trina and multiplati­num Grammy nominee Wale. The fundraiser, held by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), saw an increase in participan­ts, teams, and fundraisin­g, according to Imara Canady, the National Director of Communicat­ions and

Community Engagement for AHF.

“We are continuing to see the event grow in number in terms of actual attendees and participan­ts,” he said. “We’re also really excited that we’re really seeing a lot of impacted communitie­s out at Piedmont Park giving the awareness and education and people really having a good time as we bring about awareness and raise critical funds for these organizati­ons that are really in the trenches doing this work … It’s just a lot of excitement to see that people are still very much connected to the work that needs to be done to address the issue of HIV and AIDS in our community and to uplift these organizati­ons in a tangible way.”

According to Canady, almost $500,000 had been raised at the time of the interview. These funds will go to 11 different nonprofit organizati­ons working around HIV prevention and treatment, advocacy, and education and awareness: AID Atlanta, AHF, A Vision for Hope, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Georgia Equality, Jerusalem House, NAESM, Positive Impact Healthcare Centers, Recovery Consultant­s of Atlanta, and THRIVE SS.

Funds raised are crucial to supporting the everyday upkeep of these organizati­ons.

“As nonprofits, they may apply for and garner grant funds, but oftentimes those funds are for restricted programmat­ic pieces of the work,” Canady said. “You can’t do the programmat­ic pieces of the work without dollars that allot for brick and mortar [and] staffing to fulfill those programmat­ic needs. Through this support, it allows the Atlanta community to ensure that these organizati­ons can stay alive and thrive.”

The fundraisin­g continues through October 31. All money raised until then will be matched dollar for dollar by AHF. You can donate, learn more about each of the benefiting organizati­ons, and find volunteer opportunit­ies at aidswalkat­

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