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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

AIDS walk fundraising decreases

Due to decreasing funding, the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is anxiously awaiting the financial outcome of their AIDS Walk this Sunday.

This year marks the 21st AIDS Walk that the foundation has held in the Tucson community and the fourth year that the event has taken place on the UA campus. The fundraising goal this year is $215,000, but as of Thursday the organization has only received $112,000, said Michele Bart, director of development for the AIDS foundation.

Last year’s fundraising was not as successful as it has been in the past.

“”When times were better we raised $230,000 a year just from this event, but last year we raised $201,000,”” she said.

As Sunday approaches, Bart is still encouraging anyone and everyone to participate.

“”It is never too late to fundraise,”” she said.

As of Wednesday, 390 of the 1,000 people registered for the walk are UA students. In addition to a five-kilometer walk, the event includes a 10-kilometer run and volunteer opportunities for interested students.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. James Brooks, said he is excited for the event.

“”It’s going to be my first AIDS Walk and I want to be there to support the cause. Even though I’m not connected personally, there are people who do live with AIDS and deal with it every day,”” he said.

Brooks is one of several ASUA members participating in Sunday’s event.

“”We want to support the issue. Most ASUA members are volunteering if not walking or running,”” he said.

In addition to the walk and entertainment, event attendees will have the opportunity to view quilts from the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, a project that gives tribute to those who have died of an AIDS-related disease. There will be an opening ceremony for the quilts and a choir singing to set a tone of remembrance, Bart said.

Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation is also launching a new awareness campaign this year to accomplish four main goals: increase the number of those who are tested for HIV; create a better awareness and education program with an easier and more accessible format; get the infected into care earlier and help others become more aware of the organization itself. All money raised from the event will help fund these goals within the southern Arizona community.

 

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