[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n October 1, AIDS Run & Walk Chicago will lace up its sneakers at Chicago’s Soldier Field to raise awareness about HIV stigma, PrEP, and the needs of those living with HIV/AIDS, as well as to raise funds for Illinoisans in need of HIV/AIDS-related and other services. AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), the organizer of the event and its primary beneficiary, relies on funding events like this to help carry out its mission. AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s strategic priorities are numerous but interconnected—prevent new infections, act as a collaborative and knowledge-sharing hub, support priority populations, advocate for positive change, and fight for health equity. In terms of health equity, the nonprofit seeks to build upon its recent track record of strengthening ties between 5,480 individuals and their healthcare resources through the largest HIV case management system in the U.S.; established partnerships with managed care organizations that increased new revenue and help 300 highly vulnerable people to re-engage in care; and prevented 291 households from losing their homes, utilities, and other resources through one-time emergency housing payments.
In the face of significant budget shortfalls due to Illinois’ state budget crisis, thirty-three organizations, AFC’s CommunityDirect partners, which serve communities across Chicago’s South, West and North sides, as well as surrounding counties, will receive ninety percent of the funds their teams raise through AIDS Run & Walk Chicago.
This year’s event, which offers a 5K walk, 5K run and 10K run, is organized around the theme of the importance of unity and partnership in responding to health crises. The organizers, volunteers, supporters, and participants will come together to end new HIV infections and support individuals living with HIV and other chronic illnesses.
To register as an individual or as a team, or to donate, log on to: www.aidsrunwalk.org or call (312) 334-0946. Online registration ends Sunday, September 25.