On Saturday, October 8, more than 2,000 people will walk together in the 21st annual Indiana AIDS Walk for many different reasons.
Some will walk for to raise money to stock food pantries. Others will walk to keep those living with HIV/AIDS from being homeless. Some will walk so others don’t have to skip their medication and can travel to and from doctor’s appointments, work or school. Still others will walk to keep someone else’s lights on or to keep the furnace running. No matter why they walk, they all will be supporting crucial care and services for the more than 10,000 Hoosiers living with HIV/AIDS, funded through the Indiana AIDS Fund, a program of The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis.
The Indiana AIDS Walk, which will step off at 1 p.m. at University Park, adjacent to the Indiana War Memorial, raises funds for the Gregory R. Powers Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (DEFA) program. DEFA provides needed assistance to HIV/AIDS patients in emergency situations through AIDS service organizations across the state that provide hands-on care management and assistance.
In addition to raising money for an important cause, this year’s event promises a full day of family-friendly and healthy activities, food, fun and live entertainment for the public beginning at noon. University Park will be filled with an informational Wellness Fair, children’s activities like face-painting and craft activities, and live bands and other entertainment. A new Celebration Garden will offer food and beer and wine for those over age 21.
- The Indiana AIDS Walk events begin at 11:30 & runs until 5 p.m. There are over 25 booths, plus the Celebration Garden sponsored by Coors Light & Barefoot Wine. Mimosas will be served at 11:30 a.m.
- Entertainment at the Indiana AIDS Walk includes Brenda Williams and the Pride of Indy Jazz Band, Indianapolis Men’s Chorus, DJ Deanne and the Tyler Sapp Band.
- Two of the local food trucks, Tacos Without Borders and Hoosier Fat Daddy, will be on site. They are donating a portion of their Indiana AIDS Walk sales to Indiana AIDS Fund.
- There is always a great show of dogs at the walk and this year, there’s a Bark Park sponsored by Pet Supplies “Plus” and Auntie Leila’s Pet Salon. The first 75 dogs to check in will receive a Pet Swag Bag. Photos will be taken of all pets. Walk participants and the public can stop by the Bark Park and vote for their choice of Cutest Dog.
- The Children’s Area will feature a bounce house, face painting and crafts.
- At the end of the walk, Toby Cork, from the Concord Center team will launch an Angry Bird for every $20 he receives in donations. View the great video fundraising pitch: http://ow.ly/6J4j6
- Prizes will be awarded for Best Dressed, Most Spirited and Cutest Dog.
- Currently, there are 64 teams participating in the walk.
Web site www.indianaaidswalk.org is the quick and easy way to register or find out more information about this 5K walk and associated activities. While the event is free, participants are encouraged to make donations and raise additional donations from friends and family.
The presenting sponsor for the 2011 Indiana AIDS Walk is Indiana University Health. Marathoner Sponsor is the Marion County Public Health Department. The Wellness Fair is sponsored by Indiana University Health Bloomington – Positive Link and NUVO Newsweekly. Additional sponsors include BioScrip Pharmacy, Circle City HIV/AIDS Coalition, GayIndy.com and the family of Radio One Indianapolis properties including WTLC-AM, WTLC-FM, Radio NOW and IMC.
The Indiana AIDS Fund, a program of The Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis, is a private, philanthropic fund-raising and grant-making organization dedicated to supporting HIV/AIDS prevention and service programs in Indiana. Since its inception in 1994 by The Health Foundation, the Indiana AIDS Fund has become the largest privately funded program supporting HIV/AIDS prevention, education and care in Indiana as well as a recognized authority on HIV/AIDS issues www.indianaaidsfund.org.