Aiding the AIDS Walk

Volunteers+cheer+the+walkers+on

Ariette Reynaldo

Volunteers cheer the walkers on

Ariette Reynaldo, Staff Writer

On Oct. 23, the AIDS Walk in Downtown Los Angeles kicked off with 20,000 participants, including high school students from Clark Magnet (and many other schools) who volunteered to make the event possible.

According to the event’s official website, the AIDS Walk is a “fundraising walk to fight HIV/AIDS.” The route began at one end of Grand Park and finished at the other end after two and a half hours of walking ten kilometers around Downtown Los Angeles. Such a large event required traffic control; at major intersections, crossing guards were posted to help lead the walkers. Some streets were closed all together.

While the walk officially started at 10 a.m., high school volunteers who were a part of their school’s Global Mindset Group were posted at various checkpoints to help and motivate participants.

 

Volunteers carry Walgreens tote bags as a prize for participants
Ariette Reynaldo
Volunteers carry Walgreens tote bags as a prize for participants

Volunteers were all over the area, picking up trash and clearing streets for the walkers. Seven Clark Magnet GMG students were a part of this volunteer effort. Stationed towards the end of the event at North Grand Avenue, Clark students worked with Glendale High School students to cheer and encourage the emerging walkers.

 

The finish line was littered with volunteers ready to pass out goodies for completing the AIDS Walk. Some participants came running to the end, racing with one another. Each time a wave of people came, the volunteers would raise a cheer of encouragement. Some students started a chant with the words, “You did it!” Many of the walkers responded to the cheering tiredly, but positively. “I enjoyed cheering for everyone; the high-five line was really fun,” said junior Sophia Arlantico.

People of varying ages came by, some just babies in a stroller and others grandparents participating with their children. There were even dogs of all sizes, accompanying their owners and eliciting excited responses from volunteers. In the end, all participants— no matter their race, age, or species— helped raise over $2 million dollars to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

A walker waves around his new Walgreens tote bag
Ariette Reynaldo
A walker waves around his new Walgreens tote bag