AIDS Walk 2010

Posted on November 5, 2010 by

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AIDS WALK     [by EUGENE CAMPBELL]

It may have been one of the coldest days of the year at that time, and rain was threatened throughout, but that didn’t stop a sizeable crowd from converging on Fredericton’s historic Officer’s Square on Saturday, September 1, for the Annual NB AIDS Walk.

Organizers are to be congratulated for providing those present with an afternoon of everything from exercise, free food, to top-notch entertainment.

While numbers were down somewhat this year from previous years, Nick Scott, Executive Director of AIDS NB said, “I believe the walk was a success.  We don’t have the numbers in yet regarding funds, but at the peak of the event, we had about 150 people in the park, and 10 walkers.”  He added, “While our numbers were down from last year, the event itself was a lot more fun, thanks to the over-whelming support of our sponsors – Sobey’s, Peter’s Meat Market and Domino’s, who provided the food, staff and volunteers, as well as the great performances of THE WAKING NIGHT, THE MIDNIGHT RAMBLERS, and JAMEY LUVS.  They all donated their time, and Long & McQuade donated the sound equipment.”

Scott said that, although the Walk is held to raise money, he said that “despite this, the real purpose of the event is to raise awareness.  This year we brought out a lot of new people and made new connections that have undoubetdly accomplished the task.  For now, we are happy with how the event went, and look forward to our next community event.”

Several speakers took to the stage, and although speaking somewhat briefly, all thanked the supporters who turned out.  Paula Brecken of Capital FM, acted as the MC for the afternoon.

Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside took part in the Walk, and thanked the spomsors dor their support.  “We will defeat this, someday.  I salute the community for their support.”

Former Liberal Minister of Finance, and now thre party’s Chief of Staff, Hon. Greg Byrne, thanked AIDS NB, “for the great work you do.  You can pat yourselves on the back for your committment, and have a great Walk!”

Sherry McLeod of PFLAG Canada, based in Moncton, said “really, the volunteers are there for people when it feels as if no one else is there.”  She went on to thank AIDS NB “for organizing this event, and to all of you for being here today.”

Perhaps the most interesting and touching speaker during the afternoon, was James Lord Edwards, a young man living with AIDS.  He spoke of his experiences with the disease and went on to say that we have come a long way in the understanding of the illness.  “Yes, we have come really far as far as HIV is concerned, and what’s happening in Canada  – what’s happening in N.B., but we still have far more to go.”   He said that people are afraid to ‘come out’ in their work-place and their families.  He encouraged everyone to get involved.  “The Provincial Government has done quite a bit, but there is still a lot more they can do.  We’ve hot to put HIV back on the map!”

Volunterers from The Running Room got everybody in the mood with a period of lively exervise, and they were followed by top-notch, local entertainment, from the Midnight Ramblers and headliners The Waking Night, as well as popular singer Jamey Luvs of Trans Sisters.

Receiving prizes for the most money raised, was Ted Gaudet in first-place, raising over $1,00.  In second place was Leslie Cole – over $500, and third-place, Ashley Theriault with over $300 raised.  Fourth place winner was Dorothy Charaker, who raised over $20.  Top team went to the Aitken Animals, who raised over $50.

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