Athletes will put their best feet forward when the 22nd annual AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run returns to Piedmont Park on October 21. The event raises funds for AID Atlanta and seven other local non-profit agencies that provide a wide array of support services to men, women, and children living with and at risk for HIV and AIDS.
As in the past, the recipient eight recipient organizations are AID Atlanta, AIDGwinnett/Ric Crawford Clinic, AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta, Aniz, Jerusalem House, Living Room, Open Hand, and Positive Impact. AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run raised $1,000,000 last year.
Walkers and runners have until 12 noon on Saturday, October 20 to register online. Once online registration closes, would-be participants will have another opportunity to register on Sunday, October 21 on-site at Piedmont Park, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The registration fee for walkers is just $10. The online registration fee for runners is $30 through October 20 and $40 on the day of the 5K. Fees are not included in the funds that participants raise through collecting donations, and while fundraising is not required, it is encouraged in order to maximize the net proceeds going to the beneficiary agencies.
“The funds raised from AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run are used as unrestricted funds, which means that that we can use them to help fill in the gaps to cover the cost of programs and services when governmental or foundation funding falls short meeting our needs,” said Kristen Petillo, AIDS Walk & 5K Run event manager. “Sadly, we are still in a position where we cannot provide services to all of those who are in need in our community.”
With such a lauded reputation in the metro Atlanta community, this venerable fundraising event grew out of a perceived need to serve individuals who were afflicted in the still-uneasy early days of the epidemic. And yet, its mission is just as important now as ever.
“AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run began some 22 years ago as a community response to what was happening to so many of our friends and neighbors,” said Petillo. “It was and continues to be an awareness initiative that people are still contracting this disease and that it does not discriminate. The funds raised from the event were and continue to help save and transform lives affected by HIV/AIDS.”
According to Petillo, supporters may still raise funds even after the day of the walk and run through November 30. AID Atlanta will announce a proceeds total on December 1 in conjunction with World AIDS Day.
“I am honored and humbled each year seeing friends from all walks of life join together in Piedmont Park for the single mission of stating the shared belief that every life deserves hope no matter what,” said Petillo. “We are all working together to banish stigma and to raise awareness that HIV infections still continue to rise here in our city. Education on the subject is so important!”
22nd Annual AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run
Sunday, October 21, 2012