To everyone who has so generously supported my AIDS Walk fundraising efforts over the past 30+ years - thank you. I am humbled by your support, and grateful to have the opportunity to walk on your behalf.
To new supporters: Welcome! AIDS Walk has been a major part of my life since the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic. I started walking in 1988, because it was a way that even a small donor like me could make a difference. I've stayed with AIDS Walk throughout the years as a walker, staff member, volunteer, and team leader, because I love how it brings the entire community together to bring badly-needed funds, awareness, and compassion to those who need our help.
Once again I am proudly walking as part of Team PRC.
PRC (formerly Positive Resource Center) has been transforming the Bay Area for decades, helping those affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use, or mental health issues realize their best selves by providing the support and services they need to reclaim their lives.
Services include emergency financial assistance for short-term security; legal representation for access to basic income and healthcare benefits; and residential treatment, supportive housing, and employment training for longer-term social rehabilitation.
Having recently merged with the AIDS Emergency Fund and Baker Places, Inc., PRC’s newly interconnected services help over 5,000 clients per year on their path toward long-term stability and success.
For the past few years I have walked in memory of Bruce Smith, a fierce warrior and top-notch fundraiser in the fight against AIDS who was my role model, my mentor, and my dear friend. Bruce remains my inspiration throughout every AIDS Walk campaign, and his family and friends have generously stepped up each year to continue his legacy. We are so grateful to have them with us as part of our AIDS Walk family.
This year I will also be walking in memory of another dear friend, Derrol Hammer. Derrol and I went to Buchser High School together a very long time ago. A few years ago he found me on Facebook and started supporting my AIDS Walk campaign, strengthening his support year after year, helping me kick off my campaign each spring with "seed money" and strategic matching funds to encourage others to donate as well. He and his family started joining our team on AIDS Walk day, and became part of our AIDS Walk team family. Sadly, Derrol passed away on March 4th. We will miss his warm smile and caring spirit. He loved being part of this effort, and we loved having him with us. I will be carrying Derrol's spirit with me, and his granddaughter Kyla will be once again walking with us as well.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for caring. Thank you for understanding that HIV/AIDS is not "over," and there is still great need for the services that AIDS Walk funds.
With love, gratitude, and hope,