By Tammye Nash | Senior Editor

Organizers expect 500 walkers to participate in 18th annual fundraiser

The 18th annual Tarrant County AIDS Walk steps off Sunday afternoon, April 11, and organizers expect about 500 people to participate.

AIDS Walk co-chairs this year are Kelly Smith and J. Michael Williams.

Proceeds from the event benefit AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County, and AOC Development Director Jim Downing said this week the agency hopes to raise $131,000 through the AIDS walk this year.

The goal amount, he said, was based on budget needs and the total — $85,000 — from last year’s walk.

"When we started setting our 2010 budget, we already knew that we would be acquiring the assets of the Tarrant County AIDS Interfaith Network, and that would add programs, including the Geisel-Morris Dental Clinic. And our case load has increased 33 percent since we merged with TCAIN," Downing said. "So we knew that we had to set a bigger goal and raise more money this year with the AIDS Walk."

The walk will once again begin and end at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center, 1300 Gendy Ave., at Montgomery Street. Registration begins at 1 p.m., and the walkers step off at 2:30 p.m.

The Mondo Drummers of Fort Worth will be on hand to entertain the crowd before the walk, then the Qrumpet Toartet, a musical/comedy trumpet quartet from Texas Christian University, will be there to "herald the walkers in" as they finish the course and keep walkers and the rest of the crowd entertained, Downing said.

Even though the walk is only two days away, Downing said people can still register to participate — either by going online before the event, or at the Arts Center on the day of the event.

"All you have to do is fill out the form and give a minimum donation of $25 to walk," Downing said. "All the money we raise goes directly to AOC to pay for the programs and services we provide."

AOC’s services, in addition to the dental clinic, include client advocacy, mental health counseling, medical case management, the Sandy Lanier Nutrition Center, housing assistance, insurance assistance, legal assistance, an information hotline, testing, prevention and outreach services, professional education, community awareness events, workplace education, transportation assistance and youth services.   

To register online, go to For more information, contact Penny Rowell by phone at 817-916-5224 or by e-mail at

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 9, бухгалтерских услуг