More than 1,700 pre-register for Saturday’s AIDS Walk

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More than 1,700 people have pre-registered for Nashville CARES’ annual AIDS Walk, to be held at Bicentennial Mall in Downtown Nashville on Saturday, October 6th, 2007.  

Festivities begin with our third annual pancake breakfast sponsored by Wild Oats Marketplace who are providing delicious goodies for all the walkers starting at 10 a.m.  The main stage will feature live performances by The Bill Lee Band, The Respectables, and the Y.E.S. High Steppers. Also on stage will be our celebrity co-chairs, 92Q’s Princess Ivori and The Jugg Sisters of Nash Trash Tours.  The Walk will also feature the sixth annual Health and Wellness Fair, with exhibitors from numerous health-related organizations.

An interactive website (www.nashvilleaidswalk.com) has proven to be a big hit with walkers and donors alike, and thousands of dollars in online donations have already been made in anticipation of the Walk. More than 1,700 Walkers have taken advantage of online registration and the site is receiving an average of 200+ hits per day. 

“We are delighted with the response to the website and many of our walkers are thrilled to be able to utilize this tool for their fundraising”, said CARES’ Director of Marketing and Volunteers, Kate Haygood.

Back again this year is our event partner Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, offering customers the opportunity to make a donation to the Walk in exchange for a “register round up ” card that they can sign their name on at the time of purchase. The cards are then displayed in the windows of the stores. The register round up card promotion will run throughout the month of September and is a great way to support Nashville CARES–even if you can’t be at the Walk.

Proceeds from the AIDS Walk support AIDS prevention education programs for more than 38,000 adults and youth as well as direct services for more than 1,800 people living with HIV/AIDS and their families, friends and caregivers throughout a 17-county area surrounding and including Davidson County. Nashville CARES is recognized as Middle Tennessee’s primary provider of HIV/AIDS services in Middle Tennessee.

“The Walk is as critical today as it was 16 years ago,” said Joe Interrante, executive director of Nashville CARES. “It is an important tool to maintain awareness about the epidemic throughout the region, and is one of our most important fund raising events of the year for our HIV prevention education and client services programs.” 

Registration for both individual and team walkers will begin at 10 A.M., Saturday, October 6th. Pre-registration can also be done online at www.nashvilleaidswalk.com or by calling 259-4866 extension 291. Incentive prizes for walkers include two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines to the individual with the highest pledges raised. Other prizes include CARES logo T-shirts, a Silver Plated AIDS Ribbon Pen, a CARES Logo Umbrella, a 1GB USB flash drive and a Messenger Bag with the Nashville CARES logo.

Since its inception, the AIDS Walk has raised more than $1.5 million for Nashville CARES. Last year, more than 2,000 people walked including dozens of teams representing leading businesses, churches, community organizations and schools in Middle Tennessee, raising more than $160,000 to support CARES programs. The goal for this year’s Walk is $170,000. 

This year’s AIDS Walk is presented by Nashville Pharmacy. Principal Sponsors include Vanderbilt Medical Center, CMT, RITE AID and DELL computers. Other sponsors include  Ben Jerry’s Ice Cream, Crystal Springs, Comcast, Family Campers, Gap, Gilead, Inside Out Nashville, Kaletra, Lee Wayne Corporation,  Lightning 100, Nashville Scene, Out and About Newspaper, Planned Parenthood, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, The Village Fund, Wild Oats, Wal-Mart and 92Q.

Nashville CARES’ mission is to promote and participate in a comprehensive and compassionate response to HIV and AIDS infection through prevention education, advocacy for responsible public policy and direct services to people with HIV and AIDS. There is never a charge for any service.