AIDS Walk Boston
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AIDS Walk Boston is a walkathon fundraiser hosted annually in Boston, Massachusetts to benefit AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (AAC), New England's oldest and largest not-for-profit AIDS service organization.
AIDS Walk Boston is always held on the first Sunday in June. It begins and ends at the DCR Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, with the actual route following a 10K path through the cities of Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge.
Upon completion of the Walk, participants are welcomed back to the DCR Hatch Shell with the Wellness Festival, a celebration of healthy living.
AIDS Walk Boston has an online community to connect and communicate with participants in a variety of different ways.
- AIDS Walk Boston Blog
- AIDS Walk Boston Facebook Fan Page
- AIDS Walk Boston on Twitter
- AIDS Action Committee on YouTube
- AIDS Action Committee Facebook Cause
AIDS Walk Boston relies on the help of hundreds of volunteers. These volunteers perform a number of different duties, such as handing out snacks and refreshments, taking pictures, and directing walkers along the route, to help serve over 10,000 participants for AIDS Walk Boston and the Larry Kessler 5K Run every year.
Fundraising is the central focus of AIDS Walk Boston. Participants are encouraged to engage in peer-to-peer fundraising, and are given many different tools to do so, including a personal fundraising page and a Facebook fundraising application. AIDS Walk Boston also works with corporate sponsors who support the programs and services of AAC and form teams to do fundraising of their own.
AIDS Walk Boston was started in 1986 as a grassroots community event. AIDS Walk Boston 2010 will be the 25th annual Walk, and it will be held on June 6, 2010.
Some important milestones in the history of AIDS Walk Boston:
- 1986 - First AIDS Walk Boston, then named "From All Walks of Life," is held on Boston Common. The song "That's What Friends Are For," popularized by Dionne Warwick, becomes the Walk's signature anthem, and has been sung at every Walk since the beginning.
- 1988 - The Walk grosses over $1 million: 12,000 walkers participated and raised $1.3 million.
- 1988 - "That's What Friends Are For" is simulcast live on over 15 radio stations across Massachusetts in honor of the Walk.
- 1993 - The Walk has its biggest year ever, as 35,000 dedicated participants raised more than $3 million for AIDS Action.
- 1994 - "From All Walks of Life" is officially renamed "AIDS Walk Boston."
- 1997 - The location of AIDS Walk Boston is moved from the Common to the Hatch Memorial Shell on the Charles River Esplanade.
- 1997 - Information about the Walk is posted online for the first time.
- 2001 - A 5K Run is added to the Walk, allowing those who prefer to run an opportunity to show their support.
- 2001 - The Walk website, www.aidswalkboston.org is launced and online donations are accepted.
- 2005 - On the 20th Anniversary of the Walk, the "From All Walks of Life" brand and four faces logo are reintroduced.
- 2006 - The 5K Run is renamed The Larry Kessler 5K Run, in tribute to AIDS Action's Founding Director, Larry Kessler.
- 2009 - The Larry Kessler 5K Run sees a record number of participants with over 650 runners from 15 different states.
Since the beginning of AIDS Walk Boston, over 200,000 people have participated, raising over $30 million total for the programs and services of AIDS Action Committee.
- AEGiS, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2009-09-02. 02 Sept 2009
- "AIDS Walk Boston History," http://www.aac.org/site/PageServer?pagename=AIDSWALK_history, 02 Sept 2009