aidswalk_bannerThe eighth annual Sarasota/Manatee AIDS Walk, benefiting Trinity Charities, will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, December 7. The two-mile walk will take participants from JD Hamel Park over the Ringling Bridge for the first time in the walk’s history. After the walk, there will be informational tents and vendors available for spectators’ perusal, as well as charitable raffles and giveaways held by the Walk organizers. As of press time, over 100 walkers have registered and they have raised over $12,000 for Trinity Charities.

Trinity Charities’ mission is to provide support, education, prevention and intervention for those infected by HIV/AIDS and for those in temporary crisis in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. They operate support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS, and health and wellness education is offered as well. In addition, Trinity Charities runs a food pantry and a pet support system, allowing people in need to access food and supplies for their pets as well as food for themselves from the pantry at no cost. Finally, Trinity Charities is in charge of a special emergency fund for people who live with HIV/AIDS in the community who suffer unforeseen financial setbacks.

The organizations helping Trinity Charities plan this year’s AIDS Walk are the Manatee County Health Department, Michael Bach Health Center of the Manatee County Rural Health Services, Temple Sinai and the Comprehensive Care Clinic. Top-tier sponsors include Walgreens, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Interior Design Society and the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project.

Hotspots got to sit down for a short mini-interview with Trinity Charities President Hank Hueber about the upcoming Sarasota/Manatee AIDS Walk.

This year, the AIDS Walk will take people across the Ringling Bridge. What does this new development mean to you and the other organizers of the Walk?

To walk the Ringling Bridge is exciting and very special because it provides better exposure for the AIDS Walk to the general public. AIDS is still very much a continuing disease and needs the public’s financial support. It is great for the people walking just to cross the Ringling Bridge en masse and show their support for Trinity Charities and the work we do.

What is your biggest hope for this year’s Walk?

I believe the venue will increase the number of walkers and the success of our AIDS Walk. That is what we are expecting. I would like to see 500 people or more join our walk and increase our donations by $10,000.

What kinds of raffles, prizes, etc. are expected during and after the Walk?

We will have plenty of great prizes including all kinds of gift cards for restaurants, coffee shops, iTunes, and a few surprises!