The 2014 Tampa Bay Red Ribbon Run, a fundraiser benefiting Metro Wellness & Community Centers and The AIDS Institute, hopes to raise $15,000 and they’re counting on you to help them reach their goal. You can do so by donating, and first and foremost, participating. The Red Ribbon Run starts at 8:30 a.m. (registration at 7:30) at Al Lopez Park (4810 N. Himes Avenue, Tampa).

The Red Ribbon Run fundraising efforts support the aforementioned Metro Wellness & Community Centers and The AIDS Institute. Metro’s HIV/AIDS education, advocacy, prevention and treatment programs serve people impacted by HIV and AIDS throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties. The AIDS Institute, founded in 1985, is a national nonprofit with offices in Washington, D.C., Tampa and Tallahassee. Their mission is to “promote action for social change through public policy, advocacy, research and education.” They envision a world free of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis and enact their initiatives and programs with limited available resources.

The event will be held rain or shine on Saturday, April 12. Registration begins starting at 7:30 a.m. If you would like to make a donation at this time, donations are accepted. Opening remarks begin at 8:15 a.m. and after those are finished, the timed five-kilometer run will commence. An extra one-mile fun run/walk starts at 8:45, allowing people of all ages and physical strengths to participate.

Would you like to donate to these two organizations but you can’t be there at the park? Donations are accepted via the website ( through Friday, April 5. After that date, please contact Kathie Michael at Metro Wellness & Community Centers, or (727)321-3854.

Hotspots Media Group proudly sponsors the Tampa Bay Red Ribbon Run, with Watermark Media, Creative Loafing and S2 Timing. For more information, go to