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Read about some of the incredible community events hosted in honor of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the women, children, and families around the globe

Young Advocates Host Unique Events for EGPAF

Monday, November 9, 2015


A strong urge of advocacy can start at any age; and any age can make a difference. Two students, Sam Hirsch (L) and Rachel Rutstein of Creative Kids Care, Inc. (R), are proud examples of community event fundraisers and advocates for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Sam, a bright young EGPAF supporter from California, dedicated his Bar Mitzvah project to take a stand against pediatric HIV/AIDS. Sam fundraised in his community with a bake sale and direct event donations, sharing his passion and his longtime family advocacy with the organization. 

Rachel, an inspiring Florida teen, launched a movie screening event to fundraise for EGPAF on World AIDS Day to spread awareness about the cause and the continuous fight against the virus. Her and her team's efforts led to thousands of dollars of donations and hundreds of attendees for the event.

These two incredible students are just a few examples of the wide range of supporters EGPAF has, and the type of supporter you could be as well. Join us - sign up to launch a community event in your area and fight with us until no child has AIDS.

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Wamego teens plan community concert to benefit [EGPAF]

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Teens at Wamego High School made news hosting a benefit concert for EGPAF. Read the online news article below: 
 

"Two Wamego teenagers are hoping a community concert in July will raise funds for a nonprofit that helps prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. 

Last year, Maggie Shermoen, 16, and Alexis Pettay, 17, put together a benefit concert to raise funds for the Red Cross to benefit tornado victims in Moore, Okla. The friends raised $1,300. Afterward, they decided to make the concert an annual event, at least until they leave for college.

The teens will be seniors at Wamego High School.

The concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 12 in the auditorium of Wamego High School. A silent auction of items from Wamego and Manhattan businesses and additional donated items also will be held.

On Friday, Shermoen said the concert will include about 22 acts involving mainly local talent, including herself and Pettay. A group of high-school boys also will perform comedy skits, she said.

The performers vary in age, too. A 5-year-old girl will sing the popular song “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.”

“Last year she sang a song from ‘Tangled,’ and it was the cutest thing ever,” Shermoen said.

About 150 people attended last year’s benefit concert, which was held during the Fourth of July weekend, Shermoen said. This year, the teens scheduled the concert for the following weekend in an effort to boost attendance.

Shermoen and Pettay also gained about eight other teenage volunteers this year. As next summer likely will be the last year for the pair to plan the benefit concert before starting college, Shermoen said she hoped the younger volunteers might pick up where they leave off.

“I’m hoping it will get passed down,” she said.

Shermoen said she and Pettay wanted to choose for this year’s benefit a cause that perhaps wasn’t quite as well known. After some research, Pettay chose the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation based in Washington, D.C.

The teens contacted the foundation, which is supporting their effort to raise funds through the concert and also gave them an opportunity to direct those interested in donating online."

Article originally featured on www.cjonline.com. Article then featured on www.pedaids.org

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Students Take Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Thursday, October 22, 2015

William Alexander Middle School 51 is a public school located in Brooklyn, New York, serving 1,074 enrolled students in grades 6-8. Nance Speth has served at William Alexander for the past 18 years, the last six as assistant  principal. William Alexander has partnered with EGPAF since 2007. Read Nance Speth's words here:

Pediatric AIDS is a hard topic for anyone to tackle, let alone young students. But here at William Alexander Middle School, we do exactly that: we tackle, we educate, we spread awareness, and we fundraise for the elimination of pediatric AIDS in our lifetime.

With the development of the “Problem Solvers Club” in the early 2000s, students researched and learned about various issues plaguing our world and what could be done to help. In the club, our students stumbled upon the devastation of the AIDS epidemic, specifically pediatric AIDS. They wanted to know what could be done to help HIV-positive children receive the treatment necessary to live past their second  birthdays and attend middle school, like our very own students were doing.

One of the students viewed a program that brought the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation(EGPAF) to our attention for the first time. She saw footage of Elizabeth Glaser and her family, heard about their story and EGPAF’s mission, and knew we were a school who would want to work with this foundation from that point forward. After being involved in a pediatric AIDS network locally, I knew that William Alexander students wanted to take their fundraisers and awareness events to the next level: helping internationally. And with EGPAF, we were able to do exactly that.

For us, our focus is on education and awareness in addition to fundraising for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Some of our efforts include an Annual Red Ribbon week, as well as a unique eighth grade AIDS research project: having our older students learn about the disease, create posters for the school, and share facts with our student population. This has expanded our students’ learning and connected what they do in the classroom to the world outside our front door. As for fundraising, our students are always excited to partake in our annual faculty vs. student scooter ball or basketball tournaments. What student can resist competing against his or her teacher (and possibly winning) without getting in trouble?

Every year since the airing of that television program, William Alexander Middle School has educated itself and the surrounding Brooklyn neighborhood about pediatric AIDS and what can be done to continue the fight for an AIDS-free generation. And with the support and help from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, our students are able to share their impact with others, knowing that their donations are helping mothers, babies, and their families around the world receive life-saving programs. We are excited to continue supporting EGPAF and help to celebrate EGPAF’s 25th anniversary: 25 years of living out Elizabeth’s fighting spirit and helping those who need it most.

Thank you.

Post originally featured on www.pedaids.org

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Peaks for Pediatric AIDS

Thursday, October 22, 2015

When Jeremy Dixon moved to Nairobi, Kenya for his wife’s new job three months ago, he thought he would use some of his spare time to simply enjoy the new area and scenery. But a bit of exploring reignited his latent passion for climbing.

“Everyone knows about Kilimanjaro in Tanzania,” Jeremy said. “But, as I've discovered, nearly all of Africa's tallest peaks are in the Rift Valley countries of eastern Africa.  Also, these countries have some of the highest rates of AIDS infection in the world.”

So Jeremy devised a brilliant plan that combines both mountains and medicine: Peaks for Pediatric AIDS.  Jeremy Dixon will climb Africa’s “big five” mountain peaks during a 10-week period to raise money and awareness for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and the fight against pediatric AIDS.

“Children shouldn't have their lives ruined before they are born.  They should have a chance to live and prosper like anyone else,” Dixon wrote on his blog.

“AIDS and its continual transmission throughout Sub-Saharan Africa is a major hobble to the region's socioeconomic development.  Removing it would allow these countries to divert the tremendous amount of time and money it takes to fight AIDS into other projects that can help them to build sustainable nations.”

Dixon has now climbed and summited the first two of five peaks: Ruwenzori, which rests on the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mt. Kenya in Nairobi. Through early March, Jeremy will summit three more peaks: Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, Mt. Meru in Tanzania, and finally Ras Dejen in Ethiopia.

You can follow Jeremy’s Peaks for Pediatric AIDS journey on his blogFacebook, and Twitter. Jeremy hopes to raise $2,500 for EGPAF. Help him reach his goals by donating here, and in turn you’ll receive a summit photo, climbing harness, or other prizes.

Learn more about EGPAF’s work to eliminate pediatric AIDS in countries throughout the world. 

Post originally featured on www.pedaids.org

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Reaching the Finish Line, One Rickshaw Run at a Time

Thursday, October 22, 2015


 

In 2013, the Sitar Wars rickshaw team began a 2,400-mile, two-week race across the entire Indian subcontinent to raise money for EGPAF. Read Danny Gottlieb’s final installment in his blog series about the journey!

The Finish Line

I had many new and surprising experiences during the two week Rickshaw Race, but the most surprising thing of all was how I felt once the race was over. I spent years wanting to be a part of this race and I finally accomplished my goal. Looking at the map after our first day of driving, I thought, "We've done nothing. This country is huge. We'll never make it." The feeling of undertaking an impossible task stayed in the back of my head for the majority of the Run. It was only in the final two or three days that my optimism grew and I thought we might actually make it to the finish line. But the feeling as we actually crossed the finish line was indescribable. Even today, it’s difficult to believe that my teammates and I accomplished such an amazing feat. Looking at our whole route still boggles my mind. We drove all of that? In a rickshaw?! India now feels like both the largest and smallest country in the world.

The Aftermath

Rickshaw Run was two of the best and most challenging weeks of my entire life. It tested all of us in ways we never anticipated, and today, we are all slightly different—and better—people because of the Run. The Rickshaw Run made all three of us more confident, in areas of life in which we'd never expect to have any sort of self-assuredness.

But if you had spoken with me during the Run, I would have probably felt differently. After almost two weeks on the road, we just wanted to go HOME. We hadn't showered in days; we were bruised, cut, and covered in five different layers of grime. We dreamt of pizza and bacon.

There were three things kept the team going during the hard times on the Run:

  1. Our stereo system—it was absolutely essential to team morale and somehow managed to survive 13 out of the 14 days.
  2. The knowledge that, no matter how bad things got, we signed up for this! Even when things got tough, I knew I was simultaneously supporting a great cause and realizing a longtime dream (and driving a rickshaw through India is still better than sitting in an office).
  3. The team—I can count on one hand the people in my life that I could do the Rickshaw Run with and still come back as friends, so I'm very pleased Steve, Lindsey, and I made such a fantastic team.

Home still feels a bit surreal. A couple weeks ago we were pushing a rickshaw up a mountain during a massive downpour, and now I'm back in an office. It’s nice to be near my friends and family and have access to all the modern American amenities such as clean water, showers, and food that isn't some variant of rice and curry. But, I really miss the adventure, excitement, and sense of purpose and self-reliance we had during the Race. I also really miss our little rickshaw. I still haven't accepted that I'll never see it again.

In the end, all of the emotional highs, lows and feelings in between were well worth it! Our experience did more than change our perspectives on life, but supported a great cause and raised $2,178 for EGPAF. We have been absolutely blown away by the generosity and support shown to us from our friends, family members, coworkers, and even strangers. And we still can't believe that just because we went on this goofy little adventure, people across the world will receive life-saving help. "Warm and fuzzy" doesn't begin to describe how we feel.

Post originally featured on www.pedaids.org

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