Like seemingly every other event amid the coronavirus pandemic, AIDS Walk Long Beach is going virtual — mostly.
This year’s AIDS Walk will allow participants to complete one of several 5-kilometer routes on their own — or with members of their household — on Nov. 15 rather than gathering all together like normal, The LGBTQ Center Long Beach, which first organized the walk in the late 1980s and has since raised more than $2 million, has announced. Entrants are also encouraged to post photos, screenshots of maps featuring their chosen route or step counter to the center’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages using the hashtag #AIDSWalkLB2020.
The money the AIDS Walk brings in to The LGBTQ Center, which was founded in 1977, goes to local nonprofits that provide care to and support for those living with HIV or AIDS.
This year’s fundraising goal is $20,000, and will benefit programs and services at The LGBT Center Long Beach, the AIDS Food Store, St. Mary Medical Center’s CARE Program and the Bickerstaff Clinic at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center.
Long Beach has a rate of 21 HIV cases per 100,000 residents, according to the center, historically higher than Los Angeles.
“Agencies who care for people impacted by HIV are in desperate need of funds this year,” Andrew Dorado, interim executive director of The LGBTQ Center Long Beach, said in a statement earlier this month. “COVID-19 increased calls for service from our clients while it hobbled our traditional fundraising efforts. We encourage everyone to shut off the television and go for a walk while putting some good in the world.”
Those who raise $50 or more will receive an AIDS Walk Long Beach 2020 face mask. All participants will receive an AIDS Walk Long Beach 2020 complimentary T-shirt. Runners will also be awarded a medal.
To register for the walk or view preplanned routes go to centerlb.org/AidsWalkLB.