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Give Back at AIDS Walk Philly

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One of the city’s longest-running charity walks is also among the ones that has the most local impact.

AIDS Walk Philly returns Oct. 21 to Eakins Oval, a half-mile from your Edgewater apartment. The 5K event raises funds for AIDS Fund, which uses the money to directly support local residents affected by HIV/AIDS.

The race traces its roots to 1987, when it was launched by a group of local volunteers. That history carries through to today, as the event still depends largely on volunteers and the generosity of donors. All competitors are encouraged to fundraise prior to participating, with all pledge money supporting the cause.

Participants can learn about the people impacted by the event on race day, as AIDS Fund and a number of other community organizations will offer resources and information on site, and locals who are battling the disease or who have lost family members to it will speak before and after the event. Every year, one of the most poignant moments is the display of portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, an internationally known work of community art, with each panel handcrafted to pay tribute to a person lost to HIV/AIDS. Before the thousands of participants set off, organizers will read a list of names of local lives lost to the disease, many of whom have loved ones walking in their memory.

Apart from the awareness-raising activities, the event also allows locals to get some exercise and have a good-natured competition. Participants are encouraged to take the course, which runs along the Schuylkill River—providing picture-perfect views this time of year—at their own pace. Walk, jog, run or a combination of all of the above!

The funds generated at AIDS Walk Philly enable the work that AIDS Fund does year-round, which directly impacts our neighbors here in Philadelphia. Supporting that work is simple—sign up now to give back and give yourself a new challenge!