Thousands Descend on Lakeshore to Walk, Run, and Raise Money in the Fight against HIV

October 1, 2013

Annual event raises over $408,000 for life-saving HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and housing programs. Fundraising continues until October 31.


Jillian Braun
312-558-1770 ext. 151

CHICAGO – Nearly 5,000 people turned out for the 12th annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago on Saturday, September 28. The event raised more than $408,000 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) and 35 other Chicago-area organizations that provide life-saving services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

“Raising awareness and erasing stigma are at the heart of this event,” said Rhett Lindsay, AFC’s Director of Special Events. “Everybody is connected to HIV/AIDS somehow, through someone. The AIDS Run & Walk brings people together to participate in a healthy activity, raise money for a life-giving cause, and actively fight this epidemic. We’re truly thankful for all the runners, walkers, volunteers, and sponsors of the event.”

The opening ceremony at Soldier Field featured remarks by Greg Harris, who is openly HIV positive and serves the 13th District in the Illinois House of Representatives; Dr. Mildred Williamson, HIV/AIDS Section Chief at Illinois Department of Public Health; Joe Hollendoner, First Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health; and David Munar, President/CEO of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Post-race, top female and male runners received awards, and CeCe Peniston, a major recording artist, entertained participants and volunteers with soulful, dance-flavored R&B music.

Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt were also on display, creating a sacred space around Soldier Field for a second year in a row.

The AIDS Run & Walk is about raising HIV awareness. AFC and Test Positive Aware Network offered free rapid HIV testing—made possible by a grant from the Chicago Department of Public Health—and safer sex kits. AFC’s advocacy team was also working hard, talking about changes to the health care system and how individuals can connect with new coverage for 2014.

And of course, the AIDS Run & Walk is about raising money for lifesaving HIV services. Since it was established in 2001, the event has netted more than $4.5 million to battle the epidemic. Money raised from this year’s event will benefit AFC and its CommunityDirect partner organizations, which offer HIV services and programs throughout Chicago.

The CommunityDirect partners serving the South Side are Christian Community Health Center, Greater Full Gospel Church, Men & Women in Prison Ministries, Michael Reese HIV Program, New Life Covenant, South Side Help Center, and University of Chicago (Care2Prevent).

Those serving the North Side are Asian Human Services, Center on Halsted, Chicago House, Chicago Woman’s AIDS Project (CWAP), Howard Brown Health Center, Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).

CommunityDirect partners on the West Side include The Children’s Place, CALOR, Mount Sinai Hospital, New Age Services, and Puerto Rican Cultural Center (VIDA/Sida).

Organizations that provide citywide services are AIDS Legal Council of Chicago, Alexian Brothers AIDS Ministry, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago Recovery Alliance (CRA), FCAN, Heartland Alliance, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, MATEC, The Night Ministry, PACPI, and Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center.

And finally, AFC is proud to partner with organizations that serve people outside of Chicago: Agape Missions (NFP), Canticle Ministries, CBC Austin West Side Clinic, Open Door Clinic, and Youth Outlook.

Lead Sponsors for this year’s AIDS Run & Walk Chicago include: Clear Channel, Dominick’s, Gilead, John Gress Photography, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Lottery (Spread the Word), Paterno Group, and PepsiCo.

Supporting Sponsors include: Aligned Modern Health, Bell Litho Printing, Chicago Department of Public Health, Exelon, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Illinicare, Marathon Sportswear, Northrop Grumman, Orbitz, Public Communications Inc., Seyfarth Shaw, Starbucks, ViiV Healthcare, and Walgreens.

Media Partners for the event: A & U Magazine,,, Gay Chic Magazine, GRAB Magazine, WGN (the CW), and Windy City Media Group.

For more information on how you can support HIV/AIDS research, awareness, and support programs in your community, visit

Click here to download this press release.


Founded in 1985 by community activists and physicians, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago is a catalyst for local, national, and international action against HIV/AIDS.

Categorized under Special events.

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