Drenched and soggy, the West Elm team schlepped, trooped, laughed, and danced in the rain, through a six mile stretch of puddles, mud and pavement, in New York City’s Central Park and Riverside Drive for the 28th Annual AIDSWalk New York fundraiser, this year. Collectively, West Elm raised $19K+ and counting, including some awareness along the way. We sported T-shirts that read, “Walk = Learn, Walk = Love, Walk= Life.”
All of us had our own reasons for participating. I walked in memory of my father and my half sister’s mother who both died from the disease. My sister, in her mid-twenties, a strong mother of four, lost both of her parents to AIDS; a woman 20 years my elder, who was raised with me when I was younger is currently living with HIV, and so, one foot in front of the other guided me from the moment that I told myself that I could do this AIDSWalk, to the moment that we reached the finished line.
I’m grateful to have been part of the West Elm team of spirited walkers, especially those who allowed me not only to huddle under their umbrellas, but to clutch their arms, while they held it up for two and half, maybe three wet and windy hours. I’m grateful to Marisa Mariani, West Elm Scarsdale’s General Manager who sponsored me, and William Kissel who led our team, as well as my Facebook friends and family who supported me and this cause, collectively contributing $500, in a period of six days. I’m hopeful about the difference that it will make in the lives of those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Thank you Joseduarte Alves, Alex Allen, Dominique Brown, Keishia Brown, Clarice J. Epps (Smoothskate), T.G., Dion Griffiths (Dee Griff), Jay and Caroline Jaffe, Marisa Mariani, Latisha McCracken (Jus Listen), Kristin Price, Paul Widerman and an anonymous angel for your donations and an unforgettable experience.
At the finish line! I’m behind the phone, snapping the photo!
At the finish line take 2!
Front of our T-shirts
During the Walk….
Back of our T-shirts
This is the halfway mark, 3 miles done, 3 more to go….
Halfway mark, take 2….
I’ll always remember that umbrella and the beautiful person holding it!
FINISHED!!! AIDSWalkNY Certificate of Completion! WE DID IT!
Even still, our work for this cause isn’t done. The CDC.gov reports that nearly one in five people who have HIV, don’t know it, and so, this is one way that it could continue to be passed on. How we choose to live our lives and care for ourselves is our prerogative; I’m hopeful that we take more and more responsibility for our health as we learn more, going forward. If you want to support this cause, but thought that the deadline passed, please know that donations are still being accepted through Friday, June 14, 2013: http://awny2013.kintera.org/ebonybrown