This year’s 31st annual AIDS Walk and Music Fest raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for several of Atlanta’s integral HIV/AIDS organizations — and the fundraising isn’t over yet.
The event, which happened September 24 in Piedmont Park, included a 5k run/walk as well as performances from “Love & Hip-Hop: Miami” star Trina and multiplatinum Grammy nominee Wale. The fundraiser, held by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), saw an increase in participants, teams, and fundraising, according to Imara Canady, the National Director of Communications and Community Engagement for AHF.
“We are continuing to see the event grow in number in terms of actual attendees and participants,” he said. “We’re also really excited that we’re really seeing a lot of impacted communities out at Piedmont Park giving the awareness and education and people really having a good time as we bring about awareness and raise critical funds for these organizations that are really in the trenches doing this work … It’s just a lot of excitement to see that people are still very much connected to the work that needs to be done to address the issue of HIV and AIDS in our community and to uplift these organizations in a tangible way.”
According to Canady, almost $500,000 had been raised at the time of the interview. These funds will go to 11 different nonprofit organizations working around HIV prevention and treatment, advocacy, and education and awareness: AID Atlanta, AHF, A Vision for Hope, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, Center for Black Women’s Wellness, Georgia Equality, Jerusalem House, NAESM, Positive Impact Healthcare Centers, Recovery Consultants of Atlanta, and THRIVE SS.
Funds raised are crucial to supporting the everyday upkeep of these organizations.
“As nonprofits, they may apply for and garner grant funds, but oftentimes those funds are for restricted programmatic pieces of the work,” Canady said. “You can’t do the programmatic pieces of the work without dollars that allot for brick and mortar [and] staffing to fulfill those programmatic needs. Through this support, it allows the Atlanta community to ensure that these organizations can stay alive and thrive.”
The fundraising continues through October 31. All money raised until then will be matched dollar for dollar by AHF. You can donate, learn more about each of the benefiting organizations, and find volunteer opportunities at aidswalkatlanta.org.