By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly
Last Sunday, the 26th annual AIDS Walk Portland raised a record-breaking $525,000 for Cascade AIDS Project — $75,000 more than the organization’s goal, according to a Monday release from CAP. The event also drew in more than 10,000 walkers and a record number of elected officials. The funds raised will go support HIV testing and community education and services for families and children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
“CAP’s Board of Directors couldn’t be more excited about the outcome of this year’s walk,” said CAP Board Chair Jackie Yerby in a release. “With the announcement last week of Michael’s departure and on the heels of a very successful AIDS Walk Portland, the Board feels well-positioned to guide CAP through the next transition as we begin an Executive Search. CAP is a very strong organization. We have a top-notch team of Directors as well as a group of staff and volunteers who are deeply committed to CAP’s mission.”
CAP’s executive director, Michael Kaplan, recently announced his resignation from the organization in order to lead national nonprofit AIDS United in Washington, D.C.
Kaplan was joined on stage at AIDS Walk by elected officials Gov. John Kitzhaber, Congresswoman Susanne Bonamici, Mayor Sam Adams, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen, State Senators Ginny Burdick and Jackie Dingfelder, State Representatives Alissa Keny- Guyer and Mary Nolan, Portland City Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz, and Multnomah County Commissioners Judy Shiprack, Loretta Smith and Diane McKeel.
In his remarks, Kaplan cited advances in HIV/AIDS research and said that for the first time, he felt he could say he would see an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in his lifetime. The best way to end the epidemic (aside from regular use of condoms), he said, is for everyone who has HIV to know their status and begin treatment immediately, dramatically reducing the likelihood that they will spread the virus.
PQ Monthly will have more from Kaplan soon. To learn more about CAP or to find testing resources, visit cascadeaids.org.