It began with a bake sale in 1988; and it’s about to celebrate 35 years with a day-long event that will host thousands of supporters.
Aunt Rita’s Foundation is marking its 35th anniversary as the connector of the HIV community. An organization that was born to cover friends’ rent, medical bills, and eventually funeral costs, has humbly — over the years — provided millions of dollars to programs working to end HIV in Arizona.
Last year alone, Aunt Rita’s funded over $474,000 toward the extinction of HIV/AIDS, according to a press release.
The organization is celebrating by marking another milestone in its history as well — for the 15th year, Aunt Rita’s Foundation will present AIDS Walk Arizona Festival and 5K, to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at Tempe Beach Park. This year’s theme is “Brand New Day.” All proceeds are disbursed to partner agencies to cover the costs of programs and services supported by Aunt Rita’s.
AIDS Walk Arizona is the largest gathering in Arizona to advance the cause of HIV and AIDS funding and awareness, the press release stated. The event elevates awareness and raises funds through an educational and fun community-wide event. It is the flagship event of the central Arizona HIV/AIDS community, catalyzing awareness, education, and support.
Walkers in this event can register as an individual runner or walker, form a team at no extra cost, or donate to walkers and runners to help them reach their fundraising goal. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt and top runners receive a custom-designed 35th anniversary medal. All can also enjoy the entertainment featured at the event and the AIDS Walk Health and Wellness Festival that will immediately follow the event.
“We’re thrilled to be celebrating our 35th anniversary as the leading voice in the HIV community in Arizona, and we could not have a better celebration than our 15th AIDS Walk Arizona,” said Jimmy Thomason, executive director of Aunt Rita’s Foundation. “This is the largest event of its kind in Arizona and it is a great opportunity to mark the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS as we remember those we have lost along the way, focus on how far we’ve come, and recognize that it’s a Brand New Day in the advancement of HIV/AIDS.”
The 2023 AIDS Walk Arizona is co-chaired by Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, prominent Valley civic leader Nicole Stanton and Kristofer Inez Onyx, nationwide entertainer and director of development for Phoenix Pride.
Sponsorships are currently available by e-mailing email@example.com.
Participants may sign up and form teams by visiting www.aidswalkaz.org.