continued In addition to the Teen AIDS Task Force, ACR also runs the Q Center and support groups for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Most recently, ACR announced a new program titled Safety First Syringe Exchange Program during a press conference held yesterday in Syracuse. According to Kessner, SEP is a prevention strategy designed to help reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other serious infections among injection drug users. In fact, state-wide statistics show a 50 to 75 percent decline in new HIV infection rates thanks to the program.
After the press conference, officials painted a red stripe down Salina Street to kick off Paint the Town Red, five days of public awareness leading up to Sunday’s run.
Baldwinsville will also participate in painting the village red, according to ACR representative Jacki Coe.
“An AIDS Walk/Run sign has been approved for the Pride of Baldwinsville sign to be posted before the AIDS Walk/Run,” she said, adding, “The lock falls will turn red [this week] to commemorate the AIDS Walk/Run.”
The AIDS Walk/Run features a 5K fundraising walk and a 10K fundraising run with free food, drinks and prizes. Registration for the event begins at 8:30 a.m. and steps off at 10 a.m., rain or shine. To become a virtual walker/runner, visit aidswalkcny.com. A post party will be held at Quaker Steak and Lube (following the awards ceremony).
Why I walk
Gina Tonello, a member of the AIDS Community Resources Board of Directors and mother of two (Aly, 12, and Evan, 8) explains why she participates in the AIDS Walk/Run.
"As a Mom, I give my time and money to AIDS Community Resources because of the outreach services they provide to teens. Let's face it. Even in 2012, sex and sexually transmitted disease are still taboo to talk about with our children. And yet, like it or not, our teens still have sex – often unprotected. I want my kids and their friends to be able to have open and frank conversations about sex and sexuality with knowledgeable counselors and educated and informed peers. ACR's Teen AIDS Task Force provides that resource. For 20 years, the AIDS Walk/Run has been the primary source of funding for TATF. By making the time to join a team for the walk or just by donating, you'll be helping facilitate this important, and frankly, life-saving program, for our most precious commodity: our kids.”
Tonello is the Community Relations District Manager for KeyBank, where she works as the main community liaison, coordinating events and spearheading internal communications for 59 KeyBank branches in 11 Central New York counties