LifeWalk sets one record, hopes for more

As of Sunday, Oct. 4, when the event took place, the 25th anniversary LifeWalk had already brought in $527,000 “and counting,” according to Tori Hobbs, chief development officer for AIDS Arm INc., the AIDS service organization that presents the walk each year. That total, Hobbs added, sets a record for funds raised as of the day of the event.

The goal for this year’s LifeWalk was $600,000, and Hobbs said that by the time the final deadline of Oct. 23 rolls around, the organization expects to have reached its goal. The final total for LifeWalk 2014 was $592,628.

And the teams and individuals competing for top fundraiser honors also have until Oct. 23 to turn in their funds to be considered for prizes and recognition.

Here are a few photos from Lee Park on Sunday during LifeWalk, and special thanks to Avita Pharmacy for letting us post their group photo of walkers just before they stepped off. Other photos are by Tammye Nash.

—  Tammye Nash

25 Stories of LifeWalk: Dan Gueths


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Dan Gueths

LifeWalk, the annual fundraising event benefiting AIDS Arms and other North Texas AIDS/HIV service organizations, celebrates its 25th year on Oct. 4 at Lee Park. In honor of a quarter-century of fundraising, walk organizers are highlighting 25 different individuals who have played and are playing important roles in LifeWalk and its history. Each Friday for the 25 weeks leading up to the walk, a different person will be recognized.

This week’s story in the 25 Stories of LifeWalk series is Dan Gueths, former LifeWalk co-chair and long-time steering committee member, who marks his 20th year of walking in, supporting and helping organize LifeWalk this year.

Go here to see Dan’s story.

—  Tammye Nash

25 Stories of LifeWalk: Ella Wilson

Ella WilsonAs LifeWalk approaches its 25th anniversary on Oct. 4, 25 people tell stories about what the event means to them.

Ella Wilson, a LifeWalk steering committee member, walks with the Bank of America teams. Here’s how she started:

“I became involved in LifeWalk in 1995 while working for what was then NationsBank, now Bank of America,” she wrote. “The founder of Bryan’s House was also a bank employee. Bryan’s House was a LifeWalk beneficiary. The bank started a team in support of her and I joined that team. Like me, Bank of America still supports LifeWalk.”

Here’s the rest of her story.

—  David Taffet

25 Stories of LifeWalk: Terry Walker

Terry WalkerAs LifeWalk approaches its 25th anniversary, volunteers and participants talk about what the event means to them.

Terry Walker is an event associate at AIDS Arms. He talked about what LifeWalk means to him:

“I walk for all the friends that I lost in the late 80’s and early 90’s,” Walker wrote. “I want others to understand, HIV/AIDS is manageable, having it is not a stigma, but I also do not want more people to also become infected. To be able to educate anyone and everyone.”

Read the rest of his story here.

—  David Taffet

25 Stories of LifeWalk: Barry Robertson

Robertson.BarryIn the weeks running up to LifeWalk, long time volunteers and participants talk about what the event has meant to them.

Barry Robertson said he had friends participating who asked him to join.

“I didn’t raise a huge amount of money that first year, but every little bit helps,” Robertson said, but now he’s raised more than $1,000.

Read the rest of his story here.

The 25th annual LifeWalk begins and ends in Lee Park on Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.

—  David Taffet

25 Stories of LifeWalk: Charles Griffith

Griffith.CharlesAs LifeWalk approaches its 25th anniversary in October, AIDS Arms is releasing stories from people who have been involved in the event over the years. Charles Griffith is development analyst at AIDS Arms and walked in his first LifeWalk in 1999.

“I had the pleasure of working at AIDS Arms in 1999 when LifeWalk transitioned to AIDS Arms from Oak Lawn Community Services,” Griffith writes. “I was impressed with the energy and grassroots involvement from the steering committee and volunteers; a commitment that still exists today.”

Read the rest of the story here.


—  David Taffet

25 Stories of LifeWalk: Brady Allen, M.D.


Brady Allen

AIDS Arms’ website posts a continuing series of stories of LifeWalk supporters. This week, Dr. Brady Allen — one of Dallas’ pioneering specialists in the treatment of AIDS and HIV — talks about having missed only two LifeWalks in the past 25 years, and what the event means to him.

“In the summer of 1981, I finished my residency at Yale right as the HIV Epidemic was being described,” he begins. “It was called GRID (gay-related immune deficiency).”

Read the rest of the story here.

—  David Taffet

2 Dallas organizations among those receiving prevention funding from CDC

Six community-based organizations in Texas —  including two in Dallas — are among the 90 CBOs nationwide chosen to receive a total of $216 million in new funding intended to strengthen HIV prevention efforts, according to a statement released this morning (Wednesday, July 1) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Kirk Myers, Abounding Prosperity

Dallas CBOs receiving funds are Abounding Prosperity Inc. and AIDS Arms Inc. Other Texas CBOs on the list are AIDS Foundation Houston Inc., BEAT AIDS Coalition Trust in San Antonio, Change Happens in Houston and St. Hope Foundation in Houston.

According to a statement from the CDC, “The selected CBOs have demonstrated experience and on-the-ground expertise serving populations most affected by the epidemic, including African-Americans, men who have sex with men, transgender individuals and people who inject drugs.

“Consistent with CDC’s high-impact prevention approach, CBOs will invest the new funding in cost-effective and scalable interventions, targeted to the populations that need them most,” the statement continued. “These include HIV testing, condom distribution, improving adherence to treatment among people with HIV, and ensuring access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for people at high risk of infection.”

These funds are “one critical piece” of the nearly $700 million the CDC invests annually in HIV prevention efforts across the country, the statement said.


Dr. John Carlo, AIDS Arms

Dr. Eugene McCray, director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said the funding includes, for the first time, a component allowing organization to pool their expertise and resource into “prevention partnerships.” Of the 90 organizations receiving funds, 30 will serve as the lead of a partnership comprised of several organizations, giving 47 additional organizations the chance to contribute their expertise to help deliver more comprehensive prevention services.

“It’s clear that we need to focus our limited resources on strategies that can have the greatest possible impact,” McCray said. “This funding targets local communities to help maximize the impact of every federal prevention dollar. By delivering powerful prevention tools where they’re needed most, we can have a transformative impact on the epidemic.”

The funded organizations are in the 50 geographic areas that reported the highest number of HIV diagnoses in 2011. Of the 90 directly-funded CBOs, 67 (74.4 percent) primarily serve African-Americans and 15 (16.7 percent) primarily serve Hispanics; 64 (71.1 percent) primarily serve MSM.


—  Tammye Nash

AIDS Arms offers pop-up HIV testing locations this week


Dr. John Carlo

National HIV Testing Day is Saturday, June 27, and AIDS Arms Inc. is honoring the day with pop-up locations for free HIV testing in Oak Lawn and in Cockrell Hill, beginning Thursday, June 25.

While AIDS is no longer the death sentence it once was, it is still a pandemic,and its impact on individuals and families is staggering. The best way to fight it, says Dr. John T. Carlo, AIDS Arms’ CEO, is to educate ourselves and to know our sero-status.

“By getting tested, a person can find out whether he or she needs life-saving medications,” Dr. Carlo said, noting that these free HIV testing events provide the “ideal opportunity to take this important step in preserving the health, safety and lives of loved ones.”

The tests at AIDS Arms National HIV Testing Day events are “fast (results can be available in as quick as 60 seconds), free and performed in a confidential manner,” according to an AIDS Arms press release.

NHTD pop-up testing locations are:

• Thursday, June 25, 3-7 p.m. at Walgreen’s, 3802 Cedar Springs Road.

• Thursday, June 25, 3-7 p.m. at Walgreen’s, 8120 S. Cockrell Hill Road.

• Thursday, June 25, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at Havana’s, 4006 Cedar Springs Road

• Friday, June 26, 3-7 p.m. at Walgreen’s, 3802 Cedar Springs Road.

• Friday, June 26, 3-7 p.m. at Walgreen’s, 8120 S. Cockrell Hill Road.

• Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. p.m. at Walgreen’s, 3802 Cedar Springs Road.

• Saturday, June 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.. at Walgreen’s, 8120 S. Cockrell Hill Road.

• Sunday, June 28, 11 p.m.-3 a.m., Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road.

—  Tammye Nash

25 Weeks of LifeWalk: Marvin Green


The 25 Weeks of LifeWalk continue this week with a profile on long-time LifeWalk fundraiser Marvin Green.

See his story here, and watch the video of the “most memorable LifeWalk moment” in his 24 years of participating.

—  Tammye Nash