A new name, but the same spirit of enthusiasm and commitment infused the 2017 Ron Johnson Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk. Known since its inception in 1991 as the Winter Walk for AIDS, the moniker redux reflects the evolution of the AIDS epidemic from the early days where treatment options were nearly non-existent to today’s advances in medications that allow those with HIV, if treated early and consistently, to live a relatively healthy, normal life. The Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk to benefit Triad Health Project (THP) continues to honor lives lost to HIV/AIDS, but also celebrates the tremendous progress in the treatment, care and prevention for people affected by the disease.
Hundreds gathered for the 2017 Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk on November 18 at LoFi Park and Joymongers Brewing Company in downtown Greensboro. Opening ceremonies included performances by the Triad Pride Men’s and Women’s Choruses and Grimsley High School Blue Steel Drumline. This year’s event saw an increase in 5K runners and a scenic new route through the Westerwood and Lake Daniel neighborhoods near downtown. Premier Sponsor Lake Jeanette Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry was on site for the event, where participants warmed up with local Zumba instructor Yzetta Bynum to beats provided by a live DJ from radio station 102JAMZ. Over $118,000 was raised for THP’s client services, HIV testing and prevention services, and the Higher Ground day center for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
CHECK OUT PHOTOS FROM THE 2017 RON JOHNSON RED RIBBON RUN & AIDS WALK:
Leading up to the Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk, THP partnered with the Greensboro History Museum to display sections of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. Along with The Quilt display, the public was invited to free screenings of the film, The Last One: Unfolding the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a 2015 documentary chronicling the genesis of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and the evolution of the AIDS epidemic. Three blocks of The Quilt were included in the display, each containing the panels of the loved ones of families from Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Greensboro. The Quilt, which has grown to be more than 54 tons in total, is a stirring reminder of the impact that HIV has had and continues to have nationally and in our local community.
Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation, the international caretaker of The Quilt, works to preserve, care for and use The AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, advance social justice and inspire action. The Quilt began in San Francisco 30 years ago with a single 3 x 6 foot panel and today this epic tapestry of hope and love includes more than 49,000 panels. These panels have come from every state in the nation and have been created by friends, lovers and family members in an attempt to transform loss and heartbreak into hope and healing.
In a war against a disease that has no cure, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has evolved as the most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well being and that of their family, friends and community.
Prior to the opening of the display, Julie Rhoad, Executive Director of The NAMES Project Foundation, remarked, “We are eager to share The AIDS Memorial Quilt with your community for it is unlike any memorial ever created. With teddy bears and Boy Scout badges, love letters and photographs, this American treasure was created by the people for real people who were loved and lost to AIDS. We thank Triad Health Project and the Greensboro History Museum for their visionary efforts in hosting this event and invite you to see what wonderful healing art we have created together as a nation.”
Sections of The Quilt are continuously on display across the country in schools, places of worship, community centers, businesses, corporations and a variety of other institutional settings all in the hope of making the realities of HIV and AIDS real, human and immediate. To date, more than 18 million people have seen The AIDS Memorial Quilt at tens of thousands of displays throughout the world.
THP is grateful to all of the sponsors of the 2017 Red Ribbon Run & AIDS Walk:
Lake Jeanette Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry
Run Route Sponsors
Avita’s MedExpress Pharmacy
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Ron Johnson, Attorney at Law
Starmount Presbyterian Church
Fairway Outdoor Advertising
Friends of THP Sponsors
Aull Paint Co.
Cone Health Foundation
A Great Idea
Johnson, Peddrick & McDonald, PLLC
Joymongers Brewing Company
The Traveled Farmer
Water Station Sponsors
Cone Health Medical Group
First Presbyterian Church
Party Makers Event Rentals