AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and Empath Health hosted the 12th annual AIDS Walk Tampa Bay at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg Dec. 12.
More than 1,000 people participated in the walk, which began with a new Fun Run. Early reports from ASAP say they raised $135,000 and with donations still coming in that number will climb.
Once again, Joseph Brancucci was the individual who raised the most with a total of $9,150.00. The top team was GTE Financial with more than $18,000 raised.
ASAP’s Executive Director William Harper was impressed with the turn out and is moved by the community’s response every year they have had the AIDS Walk.
“On behalf of ASAP and our Board of Directors I would like to express our profound thanks for everyone’s support of the 2015 Tampa Bay AIDS Walk and Fun Run,” Harper said in an email to Watermark. “Our sponsors, volunteers, individual donors and walkers made the event successful and fun. Most importantly, we thank you for supporting our work and those we are privileged to serve on a daily basis.”
It has been a big year for HIV/AIDS services in the Tampa Bay area. ASAP and Metro Tampa Bay both expanded their facilities to include more services and programs for both the HIV/AIDS and LGBT communities.
“We live in an amazing community, filled with wonderful people who look to support meaningful causes, including HIV services,” Harper said. “I am filled with gratitude for everyone’s support and hopefully together we will see the day when we gather and say ‘We’ve achieved zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS related deaths.’”