Ottawa
2 min

Balancing act

AIDS Walk promotes remembrance

WALKERS FOR LIFE. AIDS Walk participants filled the streets of Ottawa last year. Credit: Capital Xtra files

It’s time to limber up, lace up and step out, as AIDS Walk Ottawa 2004 needs your fleet-footed support to help reach this year’s fundraising goals.



AIDS Walk Ottawa raises funds for local AIDS service organizations working for people affected by the disease living in the Ottawa region.



According to Lily Fang, the walk’s administrative clerk, once again the fundraiser will be a candle-lit walk, with participants encouraged to dress in any clothing that is white – such as a wedding dress, toga, white jeans and t-shirt, or even a white tuxedo.



“I think that we try and keep a balance between an occasion to remember those who have passed and also something that is hopeful and fun, and is energetic,” Fang says.



This year’s walk, sponsored by Bruce House, will take place on Sat, Sep 18 beginning at Festival Plaza (corner of Laurier and Elgin) at 7pm.



The walk route travels from Festival Plaza west on Laurier Ave to Bank St, south on Bank to Gladstone, east on Gladstone to Elgin and then north on Elgin back to the Plaza.



On-site registration for the walk at Festival Plaza will begin at 5pm. As participants gather and register before the walk, Oni The Haitian Sensation, DJ Tony Almonte and local underground hip-hop artist Periodic Trend will perform – and Max Keeping will once again return as the master of ceremonies.



Participants can also register online by visiting the walk’s web site at www.aidswalkottawa.ca or calling the Bruce House Walkline at 729-0911, ext 27.



Organizers and volunteers will also be stopping by the Rideau Center on Wed, Sep 8, the St Laurent Shopping Center on Fri, Sep 10 and the Carlingwood Mall on Tue, Sep 14 to help register walkers.



In addition, several local partner agencies and businesses – as well as many police stations and community centres – will also be carrying pop-up stands with registration forms.



Fang adds that close to 900 walkers raised $86,000 last year. She is hopeful that more than 1,000 participants will attend this year’s walk.



“Last year, the average walker raised $85, this year we’re going to challenge our walkers to try to raise $100 each in pledges,” Fang says. “And that would bring us to the $100,000 mark.”



In addition to the walk itself, there is also the Ruby Ribbon Circle Event, an annual cocktail party and charity event hosted by Bill Renaud of Renaud-Otten Real Estate, which usually takes place about two weeks before the walk.



“Basically what the Ruby Ribbon Party does is underwrite the entire cost of the walk,” says Julie Coultas, AIDS Walk coordinator. “So when people come out and walk for us, every single cent that they raise goes directly into the different partner agencies and to services.”



For those can’t walk, but would like to donate, Coultas suggests calling the Walkline for more information.



“And if people can’t actually make the walk they can still collect pledges and drop them off here [at Bruce House],” Coultas says. (Bruce House is at 312 Parkdale Ave, Ottawa K1Y 4X5.)



AIDS WALK OTTAWA.

7pm. Sat, Sep 18.

Festival Plaza (Laurier & Elgin).

Bruce House Walkline: 729-0911, ext 27.

www.aidswalkottawa.ca.