CHICAGO, July 28 This year's AIDS Run & Walk Chicago, emphasizing the importance of unity and partnership in responding to health crises, will be held on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 1, at Chicago's Soldier Field.
Inspired by the kaleidoscopic effect of last year's athletes donning COLORbands ( elastic bands that can be worn by participants in a number of ways ), this year's 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run will center around the estimated 2,500 participants banding together to end new HIV infections and support those living with HIV and other chronic illnesses.
"Chicago has seen huge strides in reducing the number of HIV infections in the past few years, thanks to increased awareness, access to health care and PrEP, a pill that prevents HIV," said AFC President/CEO John Peller.
"This year's AIDS Run & Walk Chicago will be a time to celebrate our communities' successes as we strive for health equity, as well as gather around those who are living with the virus and remember those we have lost due to AIDS-related causes."
AIDS Run & Walk Chicago supports a broad array of CommunityDirect partners, Chicago-area organizations that build their own running or walking teams and fundraise collaboratively; those organizations will receive 90% of all money raised by their teams. Last year, 35 CommunityDirect teams raised a combined $250,000.
"AIDS Run & Walk Chicago is a critical fundraising event for many of our CommunityDirect partners," said Simone Koehlinger, AFC's senior vice president of Programs. "We're thrilled to support those organizations as they raise essential funds it's incredibly inspiring to see so many teams walking and running to raise awareness and support each other in this fight."
Event registration is $30 in advance for 5K walkers and $40 for 5K or 10K runners. To register as an individual or as a team, or to donate, visit aidsrunwalk.org or call 312-334-0946. Online registration ends Sunday, Sept. 25. Event day registration will be $60 for walkers and runners.
CommunityDirect partners support Illinoisans from across the state
This year's CommunityDirect partners will raise funds through AIDS Run & Walk Chicago more important than ever after many service agencies endured significant budget shortfalls due to Illinois' state budget crisis. Many teams are returning, including Season of Concern, which earned more than $26,000 through its robust donation drive that supports those in Chicago's theater community who experience chronic health issues including HIV/AIDS.
This year, 33 organizations that serve communities across Chicago's South, West and North sides, as well as surrounding counties, will receive 90% of the funds they raise through AIDS Run & Walk Chicago.
AIDS Foundation of Chicago
Alexian Brothers Housing and Health Alliance
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Center on Halsted
Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus
Chicago Center for HIV Elimination
Chicago House & Social Service Agency
Chicago Recovery Alliance
Chicago Women's AIDS Project
Community Outreach Intervention Projects ( COIP )/UIC School of Public Health
Erie Family Health
Families' and Children's AIDS Network ( FCAN )
Greater Full Gospel Pentecostal Church
Howard Brown Health
Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
Legal Council for Health Justice
Men & Women In Prison Ministries
Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation
Midwest AIDS Training & Education Center ( MATEC )
New Age Services
Open Door Clinic
Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative ( PACPI )
Puerto Rican Cultural Center - Vida/SIDA
Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center
Season of Concern
Sinai Health System
South Suburban HIV/AIDS Regional Clinics ( SSHARC )
The Night Ministry
The AIDS Foundation of Chicago mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV and related chronic diseases. AFC envisions a world in which people living with HIV and related chronic diseases will thrive, and new HIV infections will be rare. Learn more at aidschicago.org .