Baldwinsville More than a thousand people shared a piece of history Sunday as the AIDS Walk/Run, presented by Empower Federal Credit Union and UPS, surpassed the $2 million dollar mark in total fundraising over 20 years. The 20th Annual AIDS Walk/Run collected $187,362, bringing the grand total since 1993 to $2,105,445.
The AIDS Walk/Run is AIDS Community Resources’ major funding source for HIV/STD prevention efforts through ACR’s Youth Division’s Teen AIDS Task Force (also founded in 1993) and Q Center programs. At 20, powerful and innovative, TATF has succeeded because it meets young people where they gather - in schools, alternative community programs and organizations - to educate them about the dangers of unprotected sex and substance use and how to reduce exposure through condom use and behavioral change.
One hundred percent of the money raised at the AIDS Walk/Run stays in Central New York and is used to underwrite youth activities.
TATF educates youth about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, plus other issues like drug and alcohol abuse, sexual and domestic violence, decision making and peer pressure along with leadership skills development. TATF served 5,572 young people in 2011.
The Q Center, a safe place for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) youth. In 2011, 200 young people participated regularly.
Emergency Client Needs, not covered by funding, are provided on a case by case basis. An example is work boots for client who landed a job, but didn’t have money for the necessary footwear.
“For 20 years, Central New Yorkers have come out to Beaver Lake Nature Center, invested their time, money and energy to support the AIDS Walk/Run and the Teen AIDS Task Force,” said Development Director, Carrie Large. “Educating youth about how to stay safe from HIV and STDS is vital work.”