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Friday October 20, 2000

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UA to have large impact on AIDS Walk

By Ryan Gabrielson

Arizona Daily Wildcat

UA Presents, College of Pharmacy among many teams from university

When the estimated 3,500 participants in AIDS Walk 2000 gather to raise funds and awareness concerning the disease, about one-fourth of them will be members of the UA community.

"A pretty hefty number are," said Kendall Alexander, assistant events coordinator for AIDS Walk 2000, concerning the participation of University of Arizona students, faculty and staff.

The event is taking place at Rillito Downs, 4502 N. First St., on Sunday at 7 a.m. with a goal of raising $250,000, Alexander said.

UA Presents will donate about 20 work hours to the event tomorrow, setting up the two stages where live music will be played at the beginning and end of the event.

This is the fifth year UA Presents has worked with AIDS Walk, said Ed Brown, UA Presents director of operations.

"We provide a lot of tech support for the opening event," Brown said.

UA Presents also has a team of staff participating in the walk.

"It's a way we can be involved around the community," said Jessica Valles, UA Presents event coordinator.

About 20 members of the UA Presents and Centennial Hall staff are expected to participate in the walk, though they haven't yet counted how much they have raised.

Students and faculty in the College of Pharmacy have also organized a team to participate.

"It fosters a sense of belonging, unity," said Lydia Lai, a second-year pharmacy student.

The College of Pharmacy expects to have about 35 people participating but has not counted the amount of their donations. However, Lai said they hope to top the $2,000 they raised for last year's event.

There will be six panels, with 64 quilts, from the AIDS Quilt that commemorates the lives of those who have died from the fatal disease.

"It's a good bonding experience," Valles said.