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by Jessica Carreras
Though fundraising for individuals and teams participating in AIDS walks across the state continues, some teams are taking it to a new level.
On Sept. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m., team “Still Here” will be hosting an event at the store Leon and Lulu in Clawson, Mich. The store was formerly known as the Ambassador Roller Rink. The event will include entertainment, auction, raffles and “roller rink cuisine” – hot dogs, popcorn and pop – served by people on roller skates.
Team Still Here, which hails mostly from that area and is comprised of Paul Moultrup and his family and friends, is participating in the Detroit AIDS Walk on Sept. 21. The event is put on by Steppin’ Out and is the oldest AIDS walk in Michigan.
Moultrup, who started the team, credits his enthusiasm to 20 years of living as an HIV-positive gay man. He hopes that events like this will help to spread the word about HIV awareness and that there are still people living with it – hence the name Still Here. “In an era of high tech communications the time has come to bring HIV out of the closet, he said. “We must talk about it.”
Though this is his first AIDS walk, Moultrup’s involvement goes back to California, where he used to live before moving back to Michigan, his childhood home, two years ago. There, after his partner passed away, he did the California AIDS Ride.
As for his current team, Moultrup said that the idea just came together. “It was one of those things where we just said ‘Let’s do it’ and, all of a sudden, it took off,” he explained. “In fundraising, when you’re the cause, you tend to get more money quicker.”
To date, team Still Here has raised over $1,700 for the cause and is expecting at least $2,000 in donations.
Moultrup came up with the idea of holding an event because he works at Leon and Lulu and knew it used to be a roller rink, which makes for a fun setting.
The event is free, although donations are accepted and appreciated. “It’s not about the amount they donate,” Moultrup said. “It’s about whether they participate and donate at all.”
Detroit AIDS Walk Fundraising Event
6 p.m. Sept. 10
Leon and Lulu