Jerick E. LeBlanc/Staff writer/@jerickjake
To provide awareness and create a sense of community, LBCC will provide the first AIDS Walk on Saturday, May 28, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Veterans Stadium.
The organizers said they hope to raise donations and provide essential information about community resources for students and the public.
Psychology major David Saenz, 21, a co-chair of the committee, said that they his group would love for organizations to attend the day of the event to not only provide information, but to show people attending that, “We are a community that is united together to fight societal issues such as AIDS.”
Saenz said, “While volunteering at the Long Beach AIDS Food Store, I was able to have a humbling educational experience. I saw that diseases such as AIDS is still abundant and need to be addressed.”
The event organizers are expecting 200-250 participants to walk the track of the Stadium at the LAC. The first 100 participants will receive a free shirt and the first 150 participants to walk more than 15 laps around the track will receive a commemorative pin.
Long Beach Pride Youth Grand Marshall Ravanna Cantrall, 22, a sociology major, has personally been affected by AIDS. “The AIDS walk is very dear to myself as my family has seen the illness take the life of my father, Michael Cantrall,” she said. “I dedicate part of the walk to him and I hope to see the funds generated to benefit the survivors and remember the ones we lost.”
The walk fundraiser sponsors said they hope the event will provide information about the numerous resources that promote healthy living from LBCC and the City of Long Beach. 15 organizations providing information about how they can assist students and the public are expected to attend.
According to Stanford University study online, one in four college students contract sexually transmitted infections. On average, only about 11 percent of college students get tested for any STI. The event hosts said they hope to educate participants that HIV/ AIDS is not the only sexually transmitted disease.
Saenz said, “The fight against HIV/AIDS starts with affirming that catching STIs is possible and it is up to each individual to be responsible and to be educated on all intricacies that come from sexual activity.”
Popular local DJs Mike Becerra and London Guzman and bands Furcast, King Kang and Brainstory will provide entertainment and food trucks will be available.
A donation of $7 from people over 18 and a $5 donation from current students will give access to the event. Children are free to attend with their families.