The 26th annual AIDS Walk Washington has so far raised nearly $810,000 for the fight against the epidemic.
Mayor Vincent Gray and Congressional Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton were among the roughly 6,000 people who attended the event on Freedom Plaza in downtown Washington on Oct. 27. NBC anchors Aaron Gilchrist and Eun Yang emceed the AIDS Walk. Miles and Milaya Daniels, who are 20-months and 10-weeks-old respectively, served as this year’s grand marshals.
Don Blanchon, executive director of Whitman-Walker Health, told the Washington Blade last week he feels this year’s AIDS Walk is different from those of previous years because of the ongoing impact of the International AIDS Conference that took place in D.C. in July. He reiterated this message after the event.
“There’s more of a sense of optimism and hope coming out of the International AIDS Conference,” Blanchon told the Blade. “What Saturday ultimately ended up representing was it takes… people to take action, to take responsibility for themselves make sure they know their status and on the community level it takes [awareness.] We did a lot on Saturday to raise a lot of awareness.”
Whitman-Walker hopes the AIDS Walk will raise $1 million. It is accepting additional donations on its website through Dec. 31.