Delaware AIDS Walk by the Numbers
“These boots are made for walkin’, and that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you!” Admit it. You cannot read those lyrics without thinking about the iconic recording that Nancy Sinatra made in 1966. I had the pleasure of singing this song several years ago as a part of a CAMP Rehoboth Follies production, with Steve Elkins and John Hulse providing back-up. We three were the “Cherry Tarts,” an all-girl group that should have hung up their microphones many years before. We dressed the part with beehive wigs, sequined (and form-fitting!) dresses, and white go-go boots. Nancy would have been proud of us!
In recent years, I have traded my go-go boots for a pair of sneakers. A good move on my part, particularly since I am involved with the Delaware AIDS Walk that takes place the last weekend in September each year. I help coordinate the walk that takes place in Rehoboth Beach, along with a number of colleagues and volunteers. It takes people to make a successful walk. However, numbers are important, too, so I thought I would share some important numbers about this year’s AIDS Walks…
Twenty-Eight (28): the number of years that there has been an AIDS Walk in Delaware. The first one was held in downtown Wilmington in 1987, with about 40 people participating. We owe so much to those early pioneers!
Ten (10): the number of years that there has been an AIDS Walk in Sussex County. The first three Walks were held in Georgetown, and then the Walk moved to Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach in 2008.
Twenty-Seven (27): the date in September that this year’s AIDS Walk will be held.
Two (2): the number of AIDS Walks being held on September 27. One is held at the Riverfront in Wilmington, and one is held in downtown Rehoboth Beach, beginning and ending at Grove Park.
One Hundred (100): the percentage of money raised by the AIDS Walk that stays in Delaware to fund HIV/AIDS agencies. The two host agencies are AIDS Delaware and the Delaware HIV Consortium. However, other HIV/AIDS organizations benefit from the money raised by the AIDS Walk, too!
Forty (40): the percentage of money raised by an HIV/AIDS Agency Walk Team that goes directly back to that agency. That’s the advantage of joining the CAMP Rehoboth Rainbow Walkers team or sponsoring one of its members. Forty percent of the money raised by that team will be earmarked for Sal Seeley’s CAMPsafe Program, which provides HIV/AIDS prevention and testing services in Sussex County.
Three Thousand Five Hundred and Ninty-Four (3,594): the number of people currently living with HIV/AIDS in Delaware, according to a recent report from the Delaware Division of Public Health. Since the epidemic began, nearly 5,700 Delawareans have been diagnosed with HIV disease. Nearly 30% of them were women.
Sixty-Three (63): the number of Walgreens stores in Delaware that are selling red ribbons during the month of August. The next time you purchase something at your neighborhood Walgreens, buy a paper ribbon for $1 and Walgreens will donate that money to this year’s AIDS Walk.
Nine and a Half (9½): the average number of minutes between each new HIV infection in the United States (at least statistically speaking).
Seventy-Five (75): the number of dollars a Walker must raise to get one of this year’s coveted “AIDS Walk 2014 T-Shirts.” This year’s shirt is black (oh so slimming!) There are several other prizes that Walkers can earn, depending on the amount of money they raise.
One Thousand (1,000): the dollar amount at which a Walker becomes a Diamond State Walker. These extraordinary people get all the Walker Prizes, plus get a gift certificate for lunch or dinner for two at the Purple Parrot at 234 Rehoboth Avenue, courtesy of Hugh Fuller (an extraordinary person himself!)
Nine (9): the hour in the morning (9 a.m.) when Walkers check-in for the Walk.
Ten (10): the hour in the morning (10 a.m.) when the AIDS Walk actually starts.
Five (5): the length of the AIDS Walk, in kilometers. That’s about three miles. It takes the average Walker about an hour to complete the route. That’s a little longer than one might expect, but in Rehoboth we have incredible ocean views along the way to slow you down, and Walkers stop for a moment at our Flower Drop to remember loved ones lost to this disease. The carnations used there are donated by Jimmy Windsor and the nice folks at Windsor’s Flowers & Plants, Rehoboth Beach.
One Hundred Twenty-five Thousand (125,000): the number of dollars we hope to raise through the Delaware AIDS Walk this year. As of August 3, we have raised $27,283…but we still have seven weeks before the Walk. Plenty of time for fundraising!
And the Most Important Number of All...
One (1): Sometimes it takes just one more person to help us meet our goals. Could that person be you? We sure hope so!