AIDS Walk Tampa Bay returns Sept. 6

By : Dylan Drobet
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St. Petersburg – This year’s AIDS Walk Tampa Bay is on course to be a record breaker. The 11th annual walk along St. Petersburg’s waterfront returns Sept. 6 and early fundraising numbers have nearly doubled those of 2012, the walk’s most successful year.

“At this point in 2012 we were only at $48,000,” said Jay Aller, the resource development manager for the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas.

In 2012, AIDS Walk Tampa Bay raised more than $120,000. And with donated airtime from Bright House Networks and 93.3 FLZ, the total was closer to $200,000.

This year, FLZ will provide DJs and sound equipment and Clear Channel has aired commercials on every one of its radio stations. That’s a value of $50,000, Aller said.

For the first time in AIDS Walk Tampa Bay history, 100 percent of the event is paid for in corporate donations so everything that anyone raises goes directly to ASAP, which assists clients with HIV/AIDS throughout Tampa Bay.

The walk begins and ends at Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg and check-in is at 8 a.m. for participants. Registration is $35 and includes a T-shirt.

The walk, which is 2 1/2 miles, steps off at 10 a.m. and encompasses much of scenic St. Petersburg. So far this year, AIDS Walk Tampa Bay has nearly 100 teams and 700 registered participants, another record.

The walk is presented by CVS Caremark and sponsors include Clear Channel Outdoor Tampa, St. Pete Pride, Quench Lounge, Georgie’s Alibi St. Petersburg, Rainbow411.com and TampaBayGay.com.

Local restaurants and businesses such as Hamburger Mary’s, Georgie’s Alibi, Quench Lounge and the Flamingo Resort have already hosted benefits and shows at their bars to raise money for their teams.

Corporate sponsors have also been doing a lot inside their companies to increase added awareness and funds.

“Teams raising money has really come into effect this year,” Aller said.

Currently, the top team in fundraising is GTE Financial with $12,806 in donations. Joseph Brancucci is the individual with the highest fundraising success so far with just over $8,500 donated.

In addition to the phenomenal participation on both a corporate and independent level Aller is thankful for the 120 volunteers that have signed up to help out on the day of the event.

The fundraising goal of the walk is to raise $150,000 but with the way things are going there is the potential for even more records to be broken.

For more information on AIDS Walk Tampa Bay, to register online or donate visit AIDSWalkTampaBay.org.

 

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