5 questions for Jerry McDonald
Jerry McDonald is the executive director of the Veranda Preston Hollow, a senior retirement community in North Dallas. He served on the Board of Directors of AIDS Arms from 2003-08 and was the board chair for 2007 and 2008. He is this year’s LifeWalk co-chair and chairs the agency’s Advisory Board. LifeWalk takes place Oct. 11 at 1 p.m. rain or shine. This Sunday, the Miss LifeWalk pageant takes place at the Round-Up Saloon at 6 p.m.
How did you first get involved in LifeWalk?
I first got involved with LifeWalk in 1996 as a walker. I saw a point of purchase display at Eckerd’s (yes, it was a long time ago) and thought this would be a great way for me to get involved and give something back to our community. Then the next year, I was asked to create a team, which I did with my dear friend Paul Hale and that was the start of the Guys and Dolls LifeWalk team.
How did you become chair of the event?
After several years as a team captain, I was asked to join the LifeWalk Steering Committee. In that group, I learned about the passion and dedication it took from an incredible group of volunteers to execute the LifeWalk event. It was during these years, I also learned the real reasons for LifeWalk and how the dollars raised had a direct impact on the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS.
What events are coming up leading up to the event?
The sixth annual Miss LifeWalk pageant is being held on Sunday, June 28 at the Round-Up Saloon at 6 p.m. Contestants are still welcome to participate. Contact Nick Inman for more information at 214-454-6497. Also coming up is the HeatWave Waterpalooza on Saturday, July 25 from noon to 7 p.m. in the Station 4 parking lot.
LifeWalk supports the programs of AIDS Arms. What does that agency do?
AIDS Arms Inc. provides medical services at the Peabody Clinic and case management services for those affected by HIV/AIDS. It hosts a variety of services such as testing, education in prevention, counseling for those living with HIV/AIDS, prison outreach services and also partners with the other local agencies in providing services. AIDS Arms Inc. is the third-largest agency in Texas providing services to those affected by HIV/AIDS.
How can someone get involved in LifeWalk?
If someone would like to get involved at any level, they can go to the Web site, lifewalk.org or call AIDS Arms Inc. at 214-521-5191. Everyone can make a difference.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 26, 2009.