CHICAGO On Saturday, Oct. 2, at 9:30 a.m., more than 1,700 advocates and supporters will gather safely at Soldier Field to participate in the 30th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago (ARWC) to support individuals living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Presented by AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC), proceeds from the event will directly benefit AFC and 26 community organizations (full list below) as part of the CommunityDirect grant program, which aims to provide financial support to organizations that provide essential programs and services to Chicagoans who are living with and vulnerable to HIV and AIDS and other chronic illnesses.
"For many of our clients, we are their lifeline and they often look to our organization as their next of kin. The unrestricted funds raised through AIDS Run & Walk Chicago will allow us to financially support our clients in ways we're unable to through government funding, especially during COVID, such as providing starter kit items, emergency relocation services and more," said Arick Buckles, case manager at Chicago House & Social Service Agency, one of the 26 CommunityDirect beneficiaries. "Our team is actively working to raise funds because we know the importance of these funds and the positive impact it can have on our clients and wider community."
Since the event was established in 1991, AIDS Run & Walk Chicago has drawn more than 23,000 advocates and raised more than $5.5 million to battle the epidemic. Through the CommunityDirect program, which launched in 2005, each organization receives up to 92% of the funds their team raises as unrestricted funding to continue actively working towards Getting to Zero, a state-wide initiative to end the HIV epidemic in Illinois by 2030.
The deadline to pre-register for the in-person event at Soldier Field is Monday, Sept. 27. As previously announced, AFC will require proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours for all in-person participants; masks are not required but encouraged. The organization will offer free onsite Pfizer BioNtech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines (limited quantity available), hand sanitizer, individual bottled water and single-serve foods. The event will also feature performances from the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, Jesse White Tumblers and more and will conclude at 1 p.m. when the top finisher and top fundraiser awards will be announced.
For those unable to participate in-person, AFC is offering accessible options including remote participation via RunGo a virtual smartphone app to help track participation anywhere and anytime or virtually by donating from home ($50 min.) and following the race live via AFC's Facebook page. To pre-register by the September 27 deadline or learn more information, visit aidsrunwalk.org or call 312-334-0953.
2021 CommunityDirect Partners
Agape Missions, NFP
AMITA Health Housing & Health Alliance (#TeamAlliance)
Above & Beyond
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Center on Halsted
Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus
Chicago Dancers United
Chicago House & Social Service Agency
Chicago Recovery Alliance
CCHIP - Cook County HIV Integrated Programs
Erie Family Health Centers
Esperanza Health Centers
Howard Brown Health Center
Legal Council for Health Justice
Lurie Children's SID
Michael Reese Research and Education Foundation/"Michael Reese Care Program"
Mother & Child Alliance
Making A Daily Effort (MADE) / Nefuse
The Night Ministry
Open Door Health Center of Illinois
Pride Action Tank
Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago
Season of Concern
Transforming Re-Entry Services (MWIPM)
University of Chicago/CCHE
Sinai Health System
About AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC)
For 36 years, AFC has led the fight to create health equity and justice for people living with and disproportionately impacted by HIV and AIDS. AFC brings together service providers and funders to develop systems that meet the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS and to maximize the use of scarce resources. AFC is committed to working with policymakers and service providers to increase funding for prevention services and programs that work.
AFC mobilizes communities to create equity and justice for people living with and vulnerable to HIV or chronic conditions. AFC aspires to create a world in which people living with HIV or chronic conditions will thrive, and there will be no new HIV cases. More at: https://www.aidschicago.org/