“Thanks to the great weather, our sponsors and speakers, team captains, donors and volunteers, it was truly a perfect day. We can’t fight this disease in just one day, and the funds raised will help AID Atlanta and the beneficiaries do critical work to support those who need our help all year round.”

Held in Piedmont Park, the event attracted more than 10,000 participants who walked and raced to raise funds for AID Atlanta as well as seven other beneficiaries who work to “provide treatment and medications, prevention education, meals, hospice, mental health services, child care, substance abuse counseling, pastoral care, and clinical research to help thousands of our families, neighbors and friends living with, affected by, and at-risk for HIV/AIDS in Atlanta.”

The opening ceremony featured Miss USA 2012 Nana Meriwether and “American Idol” Season 1 finalist RJ Helton. Local celebrities included former Mayor Shirley Franklin, WSB-TV’s Jovita Moore, Fulton County Commissioner John Eaves and Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall.

The seven beneficiaries are:  AID Gwinnett / Ric Crawford Clinic, AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta (ARCA), Aniz, Jerusalem House, Living Room, Open Hand and Positive Impact.

Fundraising continues through November. For more information, visit www.aidswalkatlanta.com.

Photo: AID Atlanta staff and volunteers hold up the total raised during Sunday’s AIDS Walk Atlanta and 5K. (by Dan Lax)

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