WALKING FOR CAUSE - Pictured here are participants at last year’s Scotiabank Aids Walk. This year’s walk takes place Sept. 24th at Bower Ponds. photo submitted

Annual Scotiabank Aids Walk to take place this month

Event to run at Bower Ponds in Red Deer on Sept. 24th

Turning Point Society of Central Alberta will be hosting the annual Scotiabank Aids Walk for Life on Sept. 24th.

Scotiabank has been the title sponsor of the event since 2008.

The walk will take place at Bower Ponds starting at 4 p.m. with registration beginning at 3 p.m.

“After the walk for the participants and their families, there will be a free barbecue and live music, and there will be door prizes and a prize for the person who raises the most too for the Aids Walk,” said Shai Silvey, administrative assistant with Turning Point.

In 2011, Scotiabank announced the introduction of a Global HIV/AIDS Strategy to unite and strengthen its programs and initiatives across more than 55 countries aimed at addressing this life-threatening disease.

“It’s to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS and help end the stigma against it. All the money raised from it stays in the community,” said Silvey.

It’s the largest awareness and fundraising event for HIV/AIDS in the country, with certain establishments chosen from across Canada to run it.

Silvey said the community has responded to the walk positively.

“This year it’s been lower than normal because of the recession, and some companies are just trying to rebuild, but I’ve been told we usually get up to 200 people responding,” she said.

They also get different companies who will create teams within their staff, and their whole team will raise money, setting a goal.

“People can either contribute by donating to the cause, they can register themselves and join the walk or they can come down and volunteer on the day and actually help do the whole thing.”

Participants in the annual walk will be demonstrating their solidarity with the over 75,500 HIV positive people in Canada, raising funds that stay in the community to directly improve the lives of people living with or affected by HIV in Red Deer.

People can also donate by visiting scotiabankaidswalk.ca and find their walk in Red Deer or other areas across Canada.

They are also welcome to donate barbecue food, eating utensils and various snacks.

For more information, call Turning Point at 403-346-8858.

carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com