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AIDS Walk San Francisco Takes Big Green Step Forward
Date:7/7/2008

San Francisco's Largest AIDS Fundraising Event Goes GREEN with Online

Communications, Recycling and Awareness

SAN FRANCISCO, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The San Francisco AIDS Foundation and AIDS Walk San Francisco announced today key initiatives to 'Green' the HIV fundraising event that is already a San Francisco institution. The initiatives include the introduction of Green Walkers, composting, and enhanced recycling.

"With the Foundation's focus on the overall health of our community, as well as our commitment to preventing new HIV infections, 'greening' AIDS Walk made great sense," said Mark Cloutier, Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "Every person who participates will walk towards a future where people and our shared environment are both healthier."

The Green Walker program recognizes those participants who opt-out of printed/mailed materials. This not only saves precious resources, but reduces costs, yielding more fundraising dollars for HIV/AIDS services. Online fundraising has been growing in recent years, but tying it to the environment is something new. On the morning of AIDS Walk San Francisco, Green Walkers will be recognized by a green-ribbon participant button and will be able to use a streamlined Green Walker sign-in and awards area.

"As one of the largest, most visible and most diverse public events in San Francisco, and as a leader among fundraising events of any kind world-wide, we recognize the importance of preserving the environment while working to eradicate HIV/AIDS," said Craig R. Miller, President of MZA Events and Producer of AIDS Walk San Francisco.

AIDS Walk San Francisco was already working to strengthen its 'green' framework as the City of San Francisco announced its new waste reduction policies. "My administration remains dedicated to maintaining San Francisco's place as one of America's greenest cities," said Mayor Gavin Newsom. "This means moving beyond mere goals into meaningful action as exampled by AIDS Walk San Francisco's Green Walker Program. I commend AIDS Walk San Francisco for its invaluable contribution toward San Francisco's commitment to a 75 percent recycling rate by 2010." This year, AIDS Walk San Francisco hopes to use recycling and compost receptacles and an electronic 'green' sign-in to reduce 80 percent of waste.

"We continue to see that our most successful participants are using our web-based fundraising tools to expand their outreach and raise more money," said Serafina Palandech, AIDS Walk San Francisco Event Director. "With the Green Walker Program, we can both encourage fundraising and help the environment."

The 2008 AIDS Walk San Francisco, to be held Sunday, July 20th, traverses Golden Gate Park on a 10K (6.2 mile) route. Organizers are looking to consume less and recycle more as they support the walkers on their journey. "From product selection, to packing, to distribution, to disposal, we provide more than 150,000 servings of donated food and beverage," said Colin A. Weil, MZA's Chief Operating Officer. "We're working with our in-kind sponsors, including PepsiCo, Safeway and Green Growers, to deliver product via low-resource utilization methods. Zipcar, a new sponsor this year, promotes a car-sharing lifestyle rather than owning or renting vehicles. Zipcar has provided many of the vehicles AIDS Walk will use this year."

Keeping the Golden Gate Park route pristine will be no easy task, but with the support of in-kind donors such as the Conservation Corps and Norcal Waste Systems, the prospect is an exciting one. "AIDS Walk has the opportunity to be a green leader for events in San Francisco," said Donnie Olivera, Special Events Coordinator at Conservation Corps. "That's why this event is so great, for its ability to involve so many people in this sea-change. When an event like this succeeds, big ideas stick."

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 event 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 the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (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.


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SOURCE AIDS Walk San Francisco
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