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AIDS Walk for Life

September 11, 2014

September 11, 2014 London, Ontario – In a unique strategy, organizers of the local Scotiabank AIDS  Walk for Life will mark its 25th Anniversary this coming weekend by retiring the Walk.  Faced with increasing competition in the not-for-profit sector, the three-key partners have agreed to explore  new fund-development opportunities in the future that will continue to support critically-needed services for people living with, at risk-for, or affected by HIV/AIDS.  

Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, The John Gordon Home, and Camp Wendeke representatives will join community partners and long-time supporters for a sunset walk Saturday, September 13 at the former Wonderland Gardens, in Springbank Park, London. 

Known nationally as the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life, the Walk strives to educate Canadians about the social, cultural and economic impact of HIV and AIDS on communities. Title-sponsor, Scotiabank supports the local Walk through fundraising at branches in London and area, such as Aylmer.  Scotiabank generously matches funds raised by its staff, many of whom will walk Saturday evening. 

Approximately 71, 000 people are currently living with HIV/AIDS in Canada with up to one third of that number NOT knowing they have HIV.  Despite significant advances in medical treatments, there remains no cure or vaccine to prevent new infections from a wide-range of demographic groups.  With the   spread of HIV, the needs of clients in the London area continues and AIDS organizations need to raise more money now than ever before. 

Walk organizers indicate although the Walk has been strong, with long-term and loyal supporters, the event is not growing as multiple charities are holding similar events in the region.  With a fund raising goal of $50,000 they have “chosen to end the walk on a strong note and not wait until revenues decline”.  Walk Co-ordinator, Natalie Hebert of Regional HIV/AIDS Connection says “twenty-five years of activism and fundraising for AIDS services in London is a great story; we look forward to a new chapter of collaboration in partnership with John Gordon Home and Camp Wendeke”.

Local CTV - Bell Media Health Reporter, Jan Sims will emcee at the Walk. Registration begins at 5:30 with the walkers set to begin their walk - each with a lantern – at 7:00 p.m.   

The nature of HIV/AIDS has evolved significantly over the past twenty-five years, and while lifespans have increased for individuals - education, awareness, and prevention have become as important as treatment and support for those living with HIV/AIDS.

For further information contact:

Natalie Hebert, Walk Co-ordinator, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection 519 434-1601 ext.  257 nhebert@hivaidsconnection.ca

Emily Marcoccia, Director, Community Relations, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection 519 434-1601 ext. 229 emarcoccia@hivaidsconnection.ca