By Jules Shane
It was a brisk, overcast morning on Sept. 29 as thousands of motivated people gathered at the corner of Normal and Harvey Milk streets. Presented by The LGBT Community Center, the 29th annual AIDS Walk & Run held in Hillcrest raised funds supporting those in San Diego County living with HIV/AIDS. A large crowd surrounded the stage where The Center staff, local officials, and those affected by the virus spread awareness and discussed the future of HIV research and prevention.
“The Center is the heart of our LGBT community and we do so much to serve all the different parts,” The Center’s CEO Cara Dessert said. “Today we’re here to support those who are living with HIV, honor those we’ve lost to AIDS, and to be the generation that ends HIV. So I’m really excited to be here with thousands of people to support San Diego.”
Assembly member Todd Gloria made an appearance to help rally the runners and show his support for the event. After speakers left the stage, the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus performed its rendition of “Dancing Queen” as dozens of groups lined up for the walk.
Since its conception in 1989, the Center’s AIDS Walk & Run has raised more than $8 million towards funding for the many community-based service organizations that assist the more than 20,000 San Diegans living with HIV/AIDS. To learn more about these services, the Center, how to get involved, visit thecentersd.org.
Top 10 Participants
1. Cheli Mohamed ($13,190)
2. Matt & Victor Deutsch/Ortiz ($11,574)
3. Collin Boudreaux ($6,660)
4. David Ramos and Bob Kubie ($6,485)
5. Ian Johnson ($5,075)
6. Briceson Ducharme ($5,003)
7. Kevin Lampard ($4,808)
8. Alex Ordoubegian ($4,184)
9. Aaron Heier ($4,025)
10. William K. Pontius ($3,925)
Top 10 Teams
1. San Diego LGBT Community Center (The Center) ($58,000)
2. Sempra Energy/San Diego Gas and Electric ($26,620)
3. Stepping Stone of San Diego ($18,642)
4. Redwing Bar & Grill ($14,720)
5. WNSC and Walking for Memories ($13,654.09)
6. Team San Ysidro Health ($12,859)
7. POZabilities ($11,803.26)
8. MAC COSMETICS ($10,145.75)
9. UC San Diego HIV Institute ($7,445)
10. Fraternity House, Inc. ($6,221)
— Jules Shane is the editorial intern at San Diego Community News Network, parent company of Gay San Diego. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.