The event will include the presentation of Crystal Hope Awards to Sam Bowers and Glen Romero (individuals), Dallas Light and Sound (corporate), and Auntjuan Wiley (faith community). The celebration is presented by Texas Instruments.
More than 200 people walked the 5K-route in South Dallas to raise money for AIDS Interfaith Network on Saturday. Auntjuan Wiley, the founder of AIDS Walk South Dallas, said that as of Friday, the group had raised more than $20,000. Money raised Saturday hadn’t been counted.
Dallas police officers blocked the intersections, keeping the walkers moving along the route, and people stepped out on their porches to watch the procession. At one point on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, the walkers met up with a parade celebrating James Madison High School’s back-to-back state championships. The groups cheered each other, giving the bystanders a two-for-one show.
Walgreens, which has sponsored the walk for each of its four years, had several people in the walk along with representatives from other businesses and organizations.
“I’m really pleased to see how far this walk has come in four years,” said Walgreens Community Leader James Ross. “We’ve been with the walk since day one, and we’re very supportive of what is being done here.”
Auntjuan Wiley says he’s reorganizing and rebranding the South Dallas AIDS Walk and has set March 23, 2013, as the date for the new event.
Wiley was executive director of the original South Dallas AIDS Walk, which was associated with the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation. But the Chisom Foundation lost its nonprofit status prior to this year’s walk, founder Anthony Chisom has not released a financial accounting of the March event, and beneficiaries haven’t received their checks. Wiley resigned from his position when Chisom stopped returning his calls. Chisom also hasn’t returned phone calls from Dallas Voice.
This week, Wiley registered two names — South Dallas AIDS Walk and AIDS Walk South Dallas. The first name he said he registered so that Chisom won’t be able to use it. The second is the one he will use for the new event.
The lead organization for the new South Dallas AIDS Walk is C.U.R.E., a Collin County-based AIDS organization that does mostly education work.
“Their nonprofit status is current,” Wiley said smiling, waving a copy of the form.
Roseann Rosetti of C.U.R.E. said her group would be the nonprofit presenting partner and funds from the walk would go to fund HIV/AIDS work in South Dallas. She said C.U.R.E. will not be a beneficiary.
“Rosemarie Odom and I are proud to have been asked to be part of the AIDS Walk,” Rosetti said.
Wiley said he already has at least two sponsors — Walgreens and Avita — and is working to secure others. He said over the next few weeks he plans to contact the South Dallas Cultural Center about using their facilities and will work with C.U.R.E. to put together a steering committee.
The Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation named AIDS Interfaith Network and the DFW Pride Movement as additional beneficiaries for the 2012 South Dallas AIDS Walk set for next spring.
The second annual walk kicks off with a launch party at Nana at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, Aug. 18 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Teams can register then. Anyone interested may attend. A $20 donation is requested.
About 500 people turned out for the first walk earlier this year, which raised $11,000.
Chisom Foundation Executive Director Auntjuan Wiley said his goal for the second walk is $100,000. To achieve that goal, said he started planning for the event much earlier this time.
“We’re reaching out to more sponsors and vendors,” he said. “And we will increase the number of walkers.”
Baylor’s Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute, Walgreens and K104-FM and KRNB 105.7 are already signed as Walk sponsors and Wiley said he is looking for more.
He said that he wants to bring in more college and high school students, and he plans to have an ambassador on each college campus to organize teams of fundraisers and walkers.
He also wants to get many more high school students involved.
The Chisom Foundation helps people with HIV maintain their COBRA insurance, pay for medications and obtain DART passes.
DFW Pride Movement provides social support within the black LGBT community and holds its main event this year Sept. 29 — Oct. 2. The organization also provides the educational programs during the week of Dallas Black Pride, as well as HIV prevention programs throughout the year.
AIN’s programs include the Daire Center adult day care, a meals program, pastoral services, client advocacy and transportation services.
“The majority of our clients are from South Dallas,” said Travis Gasper, development director of AIN. “South Dallas is one of the hardest-hit areas of the country for new HIV infections so it was a natural fit for us.”
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control found that the HIV epidemic is disproportionately affecting young black gay men. New infections are occurring among African-Americans at eight times the rate among whites. Black males now make up 30 percent of estimated cases.
The 2012 South Dallas AIDS Walk will be held on March 24.