Former executive director of S. Dallas AIDS Walk plans new event next year

Auntjuan Wiley

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.

—  David Taffet

South Dallas AIDS Walk steps off Saturday despite agency’s loss of nonprofit status

Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation blames accountant for failing to submit required forms

WALKING FOR AWARENESS | Black AIDS Institute founder Phill Wilson will return to Dallas to lead the second annual South Dallas AIDS Walk.

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer

The organizer of this week’s South Dallas AIDS Walk acknowledged this week that his group lost its nonprofit status last year. However, the walk was set to got forward on Saturday, and other participants are satisfied that proper steps have been taken to correct the situation.

The walk, organized by the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation, also benefits AIDS Interfaith Network, Abounding Prosperity and The Movement.

The Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation lost its nonprofit status last year after failing to file IRS form 990 for three years in a row, records show.

“We’ve been working to get it reinstated,” Anthony Chisom said. “Our accountant simply did not submit the information.”

He said the accountant disappeared, and the agency is working with a new CPA to put all of the foundation’s financial information together to submit.

“I assumed he did it,” Chisom said. “We’re working to correct that.”

“We are confident that this will be resolved satisfactorily in a timely manner,” said AIDS Interfaith Network Development Director Travis Gasper.

Meanwhile, preparations for Saturday’s walk, which raises money for South Dallas AIDS agencies, are moving forward.

Walk director Auntjuan Wiley said the last detail he was working this week was securing a stage for the entertainment. After the walk, hip-hop, gospel and spoken-word artists will perform at the South Dallas Cultural Center.

New sponsors this year include Avita, which recently opened a pharmacy at AIDS Arms’ Trinity Clinic in Oak Cliff; and Ritecare, a pharmacy on MLK Jr. Boulevard in South Dallas near Peabody Clinic. Krispy Kreme is another new supporter of the event.

Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute, will attend a private reception on Friday evening and serve as an ambassador for the event. Last year, he led the walk. Also appearing will be Ashley Roberts, host of Channel 33’s DFW Close Up. District 7 Dallas City Councilwoman Carolyn Davis will greet attendees at the opening ceremony.

“This will be the second year AIN participates in the South Dallas AIDS Walk,” Gasper said. “It’s a community-led, community-focused event in a part of Dallas hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. AIN has long been involved in this community, and we look forward to walking with them on Saturday.”

Kirk Myers, CEO of beneficiary Abounding Prosperity, said that his goal in participating is to raise HIV and AIDS awareness as well as get the word out about his agency.

Abounding Prosperity, currently next to Peabody Clinic, is moving to a new location on MLK Jr. Boulevard. After the move, Myers hopes to serve many more clients.

“Our new building is right on the walk route,” he said. “We’re in this for awareness.”

Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 Fitzhugh Ave. The walk steps off at 10 a.m. Parking is available at Fair Park at Gate 8 off Fitzhugh Avenue. Registration is $25 per person, $30 with a pet, and free for anyone under 16.

—  David Taffet

South Dallas AIDS Walk holds volunteer orientation

South Dallas AIDS WalkVolunteer orientation for the second annual South Dallas AIDS Walk takes place Wednesday from 6–8 p.m. in the Oak Room at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak St. The walk is set for March 24.

The 2.1-mile South Dallas AIDS Walk raises HIV/AIDS funding support and awareness in the South Dallas area. Last year’s inaugural event had 300 registered walkers and a total of 500 participants. This year’s goal is 1,000 walkers.

The walk begins at the South Dallas Cultural Center, 3400 S. Fitzhugh Ave. Registration on March 24 begins at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m. Live entertainment and activities take place after the walk.

The beneficiaries of this year’s event are AIDS Interfaith Network, The Anthony Chisom Foundation, The Movement and Abounding Prosperity.

For information email or call event chair Auntjuan Wiley at 214-455-7316. You can also register for the walk online.

—  David Taffet

Walgreens accepting donations for South Dallas AIDS Walk

Auntjuan Wiley

South Dallas AIDS Walk Chair Auntjuan Wiley has announced that 12 local Walgreens stores are supporting the walk by accepting donations at their stores. On Jan. 1, check-out clerks began asking customers to add $1 to their bill that will go to the walk.

The 2012 South Dallas AIDS Walk will be held on March 24. The walk registration form is available on the website. Beneficiaries are the Anthony Chisolm AIDS Foundation, The Movement and AIDS Interfaith Network.

The participating Walgreens locations include those in Oak Lawn, Oak Cliff, East Dallas and South Dallas:

• 3211 South Lancaster, Dallas, 75216 (Lancaster and Kiest)
• 4702 North Jim Miller Road, Dallas, 75227 (Jim Miller Road and Forney)
• 2301 Lakeland Drive, Dallas, 75228 (Lakeland Drive and Ferguson)
• 438 West Illinois Avenue, Dallas, 75224 (Illinois Avenue and Zang)
• 2060 South Buckner Boulevard, Dallas, 75217 (Buckner Boulevard and Bruton Road)
• 3418 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, 75204 (McKinney Avenue and Lemmon)
• 1461 Robert B. Cullum Boulevard, Dallas, 75210 (Robert B. Cullum and MLK)
• 3802 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 75219 (Cedar Springs Road and Oak Lawn)
• 5001 Ross Avenue, Dallas, 75206 (Ross Avenue and Bennett)
• 2602 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas, 75211 (Fort Worth Avenue and Bahama)
• 5101 South Lancaster Road, Dallas, 75241 (Lancaster Road and Ledbetter Drive)
• 1306 North Beckley Avenue, Dallas, 75203 (Beckley Avenue and Colorado Boulevard)

—  David Taffet

South Dallas AIDS Walk holds kick-off party at Anatole

AIN and DFW Pride Movement will also benefit from the Anthony Chisom AIDS Foundation’s 2nd annual event, scheduled for March 2012

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer

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.

—  John Wright