AIDS Walk Philly tops previous year in fundraising

Luis Molina, Khadyjah Neal, Ciji Carr, and Denise Martinez formed a team for the 33rd AIDS Walk Philly.
Photo credit Molly Daly/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The sky was gray and a light drizzle was falling as the 33rd AIDS Walk Philly wound down in front of the Art Museum. 

AIDS Fund executive director Robb Reichard said despite the ugly weather and a drop in corporate sponsorship, this year's event outpaced the last.

"We are about $300,000," he shared. "We're really excited about that."

The number of young people taking part was another reason for Reichard to celebrate.

"We are so excited that there are so many high school and college students that are out here today," he said.

By mid-morning, as the walk was wrapping up, the enthusiasm and commitment of participants like Ciji Carr was not flagging.

"I think we've kind of lost focus on how severe and serious this is," Carr said. "So I think that something like this is something great because it brings more people out, and it brings the conversation back up and it should never go away."

Ciji was part of a team organized by her friend Luis Molina.

"As a gay male, it's impacted my community a lot," said Molina, "and I just feel like we need to bring that awareness up to everybody, and get to zero together."

That means zero stigma, zero new infections, and zero deaths.