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Lifelong AIDS Alliance holds 23rd annual Seattle AIDS walk
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Lifelong AIDS Alliance holds 23rd annual Seattle AIDS walk

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

The Lifelong AIDS Alliance's 23rd annual Seattle AIDS Walk took place on Saturday, September 26 at 9:30 a.m. at Volunteer Park. Thousands of people gathered together to walk or run the 5K loop through Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood with the common cause, a call to end the AIDS epidemic. Immediately following the walk, participants attended the AIDS Walk Afterparty, featuring complimentary food and music.

Lifelong officials say that through the AIDS Walk, they are able to educate the community and raise awareness about the continued importance of fighting HIV/AIDS. The AIDS Walk also serves as Lifelong's largest annual fundraiser to support the basic human services the organization provides to the community. Some services include free deliveries of meals and groceries, safe and affordable housing, comprehensive counseling, and insurance assistance.

This year, Lifelong event officials estimate the total amount of funds raised to be between $550,000 and $600,000.

"Lifelong AIDS Alliance was really blessed with the wonderful Seattle AIDS Walk this year," said Lifelong AIDS Alliance's David Richart. "The weather cooperated, it was the first year that we had sunny skies in a long time, and the large amount of people who showed up to support the cause was truly inspirational."

"People came together to remember those we've lost in the past, support those who are living with HIV/AIDS, and to put a stop to this epidemic," he said. "The whole day had a nice flow to it."

"We are really pleased with the amount of money the community came together to raise. That we were able to raise a substantial amount of money in this economic times is really a testament to our community," Richart said. "But we aren't done yet - you can still contribute to Lifelong year-round."

According to statistics about the disease, on average, someone is infected with HIV in the United States every nine and one-half minutes. Over 565,000 people have died of AIDS in the U.S. since the epidemic began in 1981. More than 14,000 people in the U.S. with AIDS die each year.

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