Port Townsend: Residents make AIDS walk a success

PORT TOWNSEND — Albert Hernandez can give you two good reasons why Sunday’s AIDS walk is so important.

One, the man who was living in his car because he could no longer afford a place to live.

Two, the person who had gone without heat for two months during the winter before asking for help.

Hernandez is chair of Jefferson AIDS Services, which on Sunday, received a boost of cash and compassion from people who marched through the streets to express their support for local residents with AIDS, people whom the system seems to have failed.

“Over the last several years, there have been so many cutbacks for people with all kinds of disabilities,” Hernandez said. “It’s really come home to our clients. Your generosity has helped keep these people going.

“We’re a lifeline to them.”

The walk is usually held on a Saturday, but this year was bumped to Sunday because of a scheduling conflict at Chetzemoka Park, the start and finish of the route.

As a result, about half of the usual 100 people showed up, but more than $7,500 was raised, exceeding that of previous years.

“Even with a small crowd, people are just so generous,” Hernandez said.

Walkers came from all walks of life and as far away as Port Angeles, Sequim and Seattle.

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