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