SUN., OCT. 19, 2003
AIDS Walk as a name doesn’t really convey the sense of urgency associated with the disease. Walking implies a leisurely pace, basic ambulation, a level of activity just beyond lounging and just short of jogging. As an epidemic, AIDS/HIV is setting a blistering pace. More than 45 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS and more than 14 million children have been orphaned by the disease. Here in America, the number of people infected by HIV is less than a million, thanks in no small part to organizations like AIDS Services of Austin, a local nonprofit that for 16 years has been helping people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as providing prevention and outreach services for the community at large. Given that kind of sustained, long-term commitment, the AIDS Walk makes a lot more sense. It’s about determination, endurance and vision. It’s also a lot of fun. This Sunday at 11am, thousands of Central Texans will meet in front of the Capitol at 11th and Congress for a pre-Walk street fair featuring cross-dressing comediennes the Austin Babtist Women, roots rockers 3 Balls of Fire, local rock diva Lisa Tingle, and singer-songwriter Carolyn Wonderland, as well a slew of booths by local businesses and organizations. Walkers raise money by hitting up friends, relatives, and (gasp!) office mates to sponsor them as they merrily toil over 5 kilometers of Central Austin. Walkers can go solo or in packs or even walk virtually from the comfort and privacy of home through the miracle of the Internet. How many other 5Ks let you do that? Of course, you can dress as freaky as you want at home, but no one will be there to see it. A better bet is to actually break a sweat and negotiate the real course where you’ll have a chance to mingle with several thousand philanthropic folks like yourself. The key is to get online and sign up now so you can still hit up that office hottie for some sponsorship scratch.