Sorority to host 20th annual AIDS walk

By Lena Shapiro

To support the families affected by HIV/AIDS in the Urbana-Champaign area, the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority is teaming up with the Greater Community AIDS Project for their 20th AIDS Walk.

“This is our biggest event; it generates the greatest number of people, support and funds,” said junior in LAS Sam Edidin, the vice president of Philanthropy within the sorority.

Edidin said approximately 250 people are signed up for the event already, while the total number is estimated to reach 300.

People interested in participating can sign up for the walk up to Sunday, which will be at 11:30 a.m., with registration beginning at 11 a.m. The cost of registration is $10 per person, or

$60 for a team of five, with all proceeds going to benefit the Greater Community AIDS Project. Walkers get a free T-shirt, a raffle ticket and lunch afterwards.

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According to Outreach Specialist Mike Benner, the walk will begin at Illini Grove on the corner of Lincoln and Pennsylvania avenues, continue down Lincoln to Green Street, then to the Alma Mater, the Quad and back to the Illini Grove for

food and entertainment.

The entire walk should last approximately 40 minutes to an hour.

“I’m so excited to participate in my first philanthropic event through my sorority and to raise funds for AIDS,” said Veronika Berger, sophomore in General Studies.

According to Benner, this walk raises about $5,000 a year for Greater Community AIDS Project, which provide various services to about 300 families in the community with HIV/AIDS a month.

“We provide transitional housing, access to a food bank, direct financial assistance to HIV positive individuals for things like uncovered medical costs and community outreach programs to educate the public about HIV and AIDS,” Benner said.

“We are always looking to get more aid for GCAP because what they do is so important,” said Edidin.

“It’s a really great cause and I hope people appreciate GCAP’s efforts,” Berger said.

According to Benner, about 56,000 people are infected with HIV annually.

“We want to show the community that HIV/AIDS exists in our own backyard,” Benner said.