For every walker, there is a story ...
SAN FRANCISCO, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- "I walk because ... " is a simple idea that explains the motivation behind one of the world's most successful fundraising events. "Virtually all walkers have at least one story to explain their participation in AIDS Walk San Francisco (AWSF), which has become not only a Bay Area institution, but Northern California's largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser," said Mark Cloutier, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (SFAF), the primary beneficiary of AWSF. The event's Founder and Producer, Craig R. Miller, describes it this way: "AIDS Walk San Francisco is a powerful outpouring of the community's determination and hope."
Determination and hope are personified by Gina Wulff from Mountain View, CA. Instead of a party or gifts for her 50th birthday, Wulff created her own team for AWSF, "Team 50 Reasons." Together with more than 20 friends, family and Adobe Systems colleagues, she will celebrate here at this Sunday's AWSF. "I've asked my friends and family to celebrate my 'milestone' birthday by participating in the AIDS Walk with me," said Wulff, who also personally donates $1,000 on behalf of each person who joins her team. "Educating people about the disease is one of the most valuable resources there is in the fight [against HIV/AIDS]. I'm proud to help sponsor such education."
Her interest in the AIDS Walk began last year when she attended the play Wicked in Los Angeles with a group of her friends, one of whom celebrated her 50th birthday fundraising for AIDS Walk Los Angeles. "The Wicked Girls -- Walking For Good" became one of AIDS Walk Los Angeles' top fundraising teams. Already, Wulff and Team 50 Reasons have raised nearly $70,000, and they're not done yet. They will clearly be a top team this year for AIDS Walk San Francisco.
Joining Wulff on "Team 50 Reasons" are her husband, Bob, and her children, Katharine and Kyle. Gina and Bob both work for Adobe Systems, who will match up to $2,500 in donations for each Adobe employee participating in AWSF.
The Fisher-Paulson family also has many reasons for participating in the AIDS Walk every year, but they concentrate on just one ... Tim. Kevin and Brian Fisher-Paulson, who will marry this September, lost many friends to AIDS since they fell in love 23 years ago, and they have provided hospice care to several of their friends as they've raised a family together. Remembering their close friend Tim, who died just two years ago, is a powerful force for the whole family, because he had survived so long, and had become a favorite of the Fisher-Paulson's two adopted children, Zane and Aidan.
"The kids miss Uncle Tim so much," said Kevin -- who, coincidentally, will also turn 50 on the day of the AIDS Walk. "We bring his ashes with us every year on the Walk so we can remember him, celebrate him. Of course, we remember all our friends, but Tim is the one big reason for Zane and Aidan. The AIDS Walk has become one of their favorite days of the year."
For Bill Oman, AIDS Walk is a day to remember. "Most of my peer friends died of AIDS, and I have very few left to celebrate my past or my journey," said Oman, who is well on his way to becoming the highest fundraiser for the UC Berkeley Team again this year. "Participating with over 25,000 people is an affirmation and tribute to those who remain in my memory."
Gina Wulff, Kevin Thaddeus Fisher-Paulson, Bill Oman, and other AIDS Walk San Francisco 2008 participants are available for interviews both prior to and on the day of the event.
About AIDS Walk San Francisco: Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised nearly $65 million for HIV programs and services in the Bay Area, and has grown into one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in the world. In 2007 alone, 25,000 participants, many of whom were members of 800 corporate and community teams, raised a record sum of more than $4.6 million for SFAF and 42 other Bay Area AIDS service organizations. For more information, visit http://www.aidswalk.net.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation: The San Francisco AIDS Foundation provides leadership to prevent new HIV infections. Linking community experience with science, the Foundation develops ground-breaking prevention programs and bold policy initiatives to promote health and create sustainable progress against HIV. Established in 1982, the Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, visit http://www.sfaf.org.
About MZA Events: AIDS Walk San Francisco was founded in 1987 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Miller is the originator of the AIDS Walk fundraising model and has raised more than $300 million for leading AIDS charities nationwide. For more information, visit http://www.mzaevents.com.
|SOURCE AIDS Walk San Francisco|
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