Dear Friends and Family,
I am raising funds for the National AIDS Memorial team this year at AIDS Walk San Francisco which will be a virtual walk on Sunday July 19th, 2020. AIDS Walk SF is a very important fund raising event for the National AIDS Memorial in Golden Gate Park. COVID-19 has severely interrupted our activities.
Raising AIDS Walk SF funds are important to the future of the National AIDS Memorial. Like many people, businesses and non-profits we are fighting to raise financial support in the face of COVID-19.
2019 was an important year for the Grove. We brought the AIDS Memorial Quilt with its 50,000 panels home from Atlanta to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Quilt is one of the largest folk art entities in the world. The Quilt began in SF in 1987, and the 10 acre Grove began in Golden Gate Park in 1989. The Grove is the only Congressionally approved (1996) AIDS Memorial in America.
Since the beginning of the global pandemic 32 million people have died from AIDS, and currently 38 million people live with HIV/AIDS of which 25 million are on therapy. Almost 50% are women. In 2018, globally, 770,000 people died of HIV/AIDS, and there were 1.7M new cases.
In the USA 700,000 people have died since the beginning of HIV/AIDS. It is estimated there are currently 1.1 million Americans living with HIV/AIDS and over 150,000 do not know they are infected. In San Francisco since the beginning of the epidemic more than 20,000 people have died.
HIV/AIDS cases are increasing in the southern US and in rural areas. In 2018, African Americans accounted for 12% of the US population but 43% (476,000) of people living with HIV/AIDS.
I am honored to be the Co-Chair of the National AIDS Memorial Board of Directors. My involvement with this organization is deeply rewarding. For over a quarter century the National AIDS Memorial has helped to tell the story of AIDS to future generations so we will not again have to repeat the same mistakes. Sadly, COVID-19 is revealing inadequacies in our ability to respond to a new pandemic. As a board member, the funds I raise through our virtual AIDS Walk this year will directly benefit the National AIDS Memorial, Grove, Quilt, Storytelling Projects and the Pedro Zamora Scholarships. Although a national memorial, the Memorial receives no government funding. AIDS Walk provides a way to raise much-needed funding for the Grove and other beneficiary organizations, while sending a signal of support in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS.
I am asking you to help me reach my fundraising goal of $55,000. Your support will not only benefit the National AIDS Memorial, but will also mean so much to me personally. Any amount helps! On behalf of the National AIDS Memorial and thousands of Bay Area individuals living with HIV/AIDS, I thank you for your support!
If you would like to join me on the virtual AIDS Walk please let me know. Thanks again for your support!
Board Co- Chair, National AIDS Memorial
AIDS Memorial Quilt