By Betsy Levy, Vice President
To walk or not to walk? This was the big dilemma plaguing organizers for this year’s AIDS Walk San Francisco (AWSF 2020), since the City’s shelter-in-place mandate took effect last month.
Our client PRC, along with AIDS Walk San Francisco Foundation and MZA Events (the three producers of AWSF), recently announced their decision to move the popular fundraising event to a virtual model in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. After reviewing plans closely with local health officials, organizers concluded that risks to the public outweighed the benefits of proceeding as scheduled – especially given the vulnerable population that participates in this event.
“The decision to reconstruct one of San Francisco’s most beloved events into a virtual one wasn’t an easy one to make,” said Brett Andrews, CEO of PRC. “The goals of AWSF 2020 remain the same: raise awareness and funds that support HIV care and prevention services, as well as mental health, substance use, housing and other important social programs.”
What is AIDS Walk SF?
Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has generated funds to support local nonprofits providing a host of AIDS/HIV services, research and educational opportunities throughout the Bay Area. In 2019, thousands of AWSF participants – many of whom were members of hundreds of corporate and community teams – raised more than $1.5M to support vital programs and services. 2019 beneficiaries included Ward 86 Pop-up Clinic, PRC and Project Open Hand. This year, PRC serves as the grantor of the community grants program and is responsible for developing the criteria and process to identify beneficiaries.
As one might imagine, plans to switch AWSF 2020 to a virtual model was a story that Bay Area media were eager to tell. From segments with KGO-TV and KCBS Radio to the Bay Area Reporter and SFGate, participants far and wide are well-informed about the switch to virtual.
More details will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, to sign up or to donate, please visit sf.aidswalk.net.
In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to identify innovative ways to build awareness and come together as a community to support a common cause. Are you planning to participate in AIDS Walk San Francisco 2020? Leave us a comment below about your thoughts on this year’s change.