Aids Walk Wisconsin 2008

Over 2,000 people enjoyed participating in this year's Aids Walk Wisconsin, which included a moving speech by Kimberly Locke from season two of American Idol.

Photo by Bob Hanson

Over 2,000 people enjoyed participating in this year's Aids Walk Wisconsin, which included a moving speech by Kimberly Locke from season two of American Idol.

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Saturday October 4, 2008, marked the 19th year of AIDS Walk Wisconsin, which was hosted by the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW). This year, 2,556 participants from all over Wisconsin raised a total of $305,747.All proceeds from this event are used to support HIV prevention, as well as care and treatment. Doug Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “Aids Walk Wisconsin is an event of tremendous solidarity where people come together with great courage and bring enlightenment and strength to the fight against AIDS.”

The ARCW Medical Center provided integrated medical, dental and mental health services to over 1,000 HIV patients over the past year. It is the largest outpatient HIV medical center in our state.

It is also responsible for the life-saving treatment of Tonya Wood, an MATC student. “Ten years ago, before my first trip to ARCW, I had no hope and felt powerless. I know now I can take on the challenges in my life, and overcome the barriers that used to stand in my way. Before my first trip to ARCW, I didn’t believe I had a future.

“Today, I’m attending MATC to get ready for a career in helping others find their own ways to a better life,” said Ms. Wood in her crowd-moving speech.

Other agencies that receive funding from this event include: LGBT Community Center, Common Ground Ministry/Elena’s House, The Sheboygan County AIDS Task Force, Milwaukee’s No Condom? No Way! Campaign, La Case De Esperanza and One Heartland. The special guest star, Kimberley Locke, (season 2 American Idol) is affiliated with One Heartland.

She gave a moving speech and sang several songs that rallied the crowd. During her speech she mentioned, “.one person can make a difference.the most important thing that we can do is talk about it, that this is a preventable disease.”

There were many different groups that participated in the walk. One spirited group was representing the HYATT Regency. It was their first year being involved, with 15 participants, who raised just over $1,700. The management donated the team sweatshirts and according to the group was very supportive.

Overall, it was a perfect day for the event. The 5K walk included two rest stops with refreshments, bathroom facilities and entertainment which included jugglers, belly dancers and, of course, a meet and greet with Ms. Locke.

For more pictures, interviews and information on how you can get involved, check out our website, www.matctimes.com.

You can also contact the Manager of Public Affairs, Bill Keeton, at Bill.Keeton@arcw.org if you and your friends or an organization want to join this noble fight next year.

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