Guest blogger, Daniel Howard, Vice President of the Valley AIDS Information Network–a Pride Foundation Grantee–shares with us the importance of raising awareness around HIV and AIDS in rural communities. Valley AIDS Information Network, Inc. (VAIN) is a community based all volunteer HIV/AIDS Service Organization serving Linn and Benton Counties in Oregon. Our Mission is two-fold; To prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and hepatitis-C by providing community education programs -and- To provide support to persons living with HIV/AIDS, their families and caregivers.
Benton, Linn, and Marion Counties are rural areas in which the Valley AIDS Information Network (VAIN) serves. There, individuals do not receive the same services or advocacy awarded to other areas with greater access to services. Our AIDS walk is very important to these communities we serve serve, Benton, Linn and Marion Counties in helping to raise awareness and help erase the stigma and misinformation associated with persons living with HIV and AIDS.
The first annual VAIN AIDS Walk 2012 has been organized in conjunction with our sponsors: Pride Foundation, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), Pastini Pastaria, Corvallis Community Alliance for Diversity the Oregon State University (OSU) Pride Center, OSU Graphics Studio Club, First United Methodist Church of Corvallis, Bristol-Meyer Squib, and VAIN volunteers.
This walk aims to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and show support for those living with HIV/AIDS in our community. Hosted in historic downtown Corvallis on SW 2nd Street and Western Street on Sunday May 6th, registration will begins at 10:00 AM with the walk starting at 11:00 AM.
Speakers and a rally will commence at the finish line. The event will benefit our all-volunteer organization and allow the expansion of our volunteer activities as well as provide funds for future community-wide events such as the AIDS Walk 2013.
This is a unique opportunity to act as a VAIN ambassador; we invite you to show your support and enthusiasm! It is our hope that you will not only participate in AIDS WALK 2012 but also encourage your family, friends, and community members to participate as well. We are of course available to answer any questions that you might have and look forward to doing so. Please feel free to contact VAIN President Bob Skinner through e-mail or by phone at 541-752-6322.
For more information about our grantees please Contact Oregon Regional Development Organizer, Jett Johnson.