By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLHOMA CITY – The “Protect Yourself, AIDS Walk OKC” 22nd Annual Fundraiser will kick off virtually on Sunday, September 20. Just as many nonprofits have had to adjust due to COVD-19, AIDS Walk OKC is taking the walk virtual this year in order to protect the health of the community.
From September 20 through 26, AIDS Walk OKC participants are encouraged to complete 10 423 steps during the week to honor the 10,423 Oklahomans who have died from HIV/AIDS related illnesses since the start of the epidemic in 1980.
From the beginning, AIDS Walk OKC mission has been to encourage visibility, education, and the reduction of stigma regarding the Human Immunodeficiency Virus HIV).
Last year, funds from the AIDS Walk were dispersed to four local organizations working to directly influence the lives of Oklahomans living with HIV.
“People who are immunocompromised living with HIV are at higher risks of complications of infected by COVID-19; therefore it is imperative that we continue to support the efforts being made to local nonprofits working with these communities,” said organizers.
Individual of all ages are encouraged to participate in the virtual event by creating walk teams or individually fundraising through the aidswalkokc.org website or various social media platforms.
For more information regarding registration or sponsorship opportunities, contact the board directly at [email protected].
Individual registration starts at the Bronze Level for $10, giving participants entry in the Facebook Event Group. Silver Level registrants ($25 fee) will receive a 2020 AIDS Walk Face Mask and entry into the private Facebook group to track progress. The Gold Level ($50 fee) will include a 2020 AIDS Walk Shirt, Face Mask and entry into the private Facebook group to track their progress.
Anyone donating more than the Gold Level will receive all gold benefits. Ticket sales end on September 20.
Register here to receive the invitation to the official, private “Protect Yourself 2020 Facebook Group” to log your journey and post photos. Team fundraising and team size awards will be given again this year.
Established in 1998 and incorporated in 2001, the AIDS Walk of Oklahoma City’s mission is to build awareness about HIV/AIDS and to raise funds to support the work of nonprofit organizations that provide HIV/AIDS direct care, support services, and education.
AIDS Walk OKC’s mission is achieved by holding an annual Walk and 5k Run, in downtown Oklahoma City, as well as several smaller fundraisers held throughout the calendar year.
Funds raised by participants and by corporate donations are distributed to eligible nonprofit HIV/AIDS organizations. Since 1998, over $565,000 has been returned to the community to benefit people living with HIV disease.
To register for the virtual “Protect Yourself, AIDS Walk OKC 2020” or to learn more, click here.