MAP Walks Away a Winner
The 21st annual Minnesota AIDS Walk on May 18 at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis was a runaway success—literally. For the first year, it included a 10K Run for the Ribbon, which started bright and early with a 7:30 AM check-in. The 10K Walk got under way at 11 AM with a horde of teams. This year, more than 2,000 participants and 250-plus teams participated, a huge turnout by any means. More than $500,000 was raised to help the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP) fight HIV in Minnesota with advocacy, education, and service programs. This year’s top team alone raised more than $20,000.Like many such charity events, participants had their own reasons for walking or running. Many did so because it was a way to help those with HIV, and help prevent others from becoming infected. Others walked for friends and loved ones who have HIV, or already have been lost to AIDS. With no cure on the horizon for the disease, the best defense is prevention and education.For those who always have wanted to be in the Walk, or one similar to it, there is no reason not to. The goal is not to be the first to the finish line, or even to finish, but to help raise money to fund much-needed programs. MAP provided six rest stops along the way with refreshments and first aid, as well as entertainment and prizes. For people who just couldn’t finish the event, vans circled the route to pick up tired or injured walkers and runners.