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September 8, 2006
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Volume 34
Issue 36
 
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Seattle AIDS Walk celebrates its 20th Anniversary
Seattle AIDS Walk celebrates its 20th Anniversary
Fun, entertainment and AIDS Quilt display to greet participants on Sept. 9th

by Robert Raketty - SGN Staff Writer

For the last 20 years Puget Sound area residents have been participating in the AIDS Walk, an annual event to remember those lost to HIV/AIDS and to raise money for services for those living with the disease. This year as many as 5,000 people are expected to participate.

"The walk is really a way to remember and honor, first and foremost, those who died form HIV/AIDS over the last 25 years," said Cory Curtis, director of Marketing and Development for Lifelong AIDS Alliance. "This is the first 20th Anniversary Walk, so Seattleites have been marching and honoring those folks for 20 years. The second aspect to the walk is to create awareness that the disease is still far from over.

"The other piece of the Walk, obviously, is to raise money for what Lifelong does. We provide a variety of services - from housing to food to case management to health insurance. So, the Walks is very important for us financially."

According to Curtis, the need for the agency's services remains strong. "There are still over a million people with HIV/AIDS in the United States," he said. "More than 5,000 to 6,000 in King County and more than 9,000 across the state are living with the disease. So, it is still quite an epidemic."

This year's Walk will feature performances from the Seattle Men's Chorus and Rainbow City Marching Band. The AIDS Quilt will also be on display.

"We will also have one the largest displays of the AIDS Quilt that has every happened on the West Coast," said Curtis. "That will be a pretty sizable amount of the AIDS Quilts; thousands of panels and names will be displayed. That will be a pretty solemn and humbling experience for everyone."

Registration for the Walk on Sunday, Sept. 9th, will begins at 8 AM at Volunteer Park on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Opening ceremonies will follow at 9 AM and the Walk is scheduled to kick-off at 10 AM.

"In addition to the local elected politicians," said Curtis, "people will hear from people living with HIV/AIDS who will be talking about their experiences and what that means to their lives."

Walkers can register at any time, including the day of the event. However, event organizers prefer participants register online at www.llaa.org.

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