by Jessica Carreras
The Bay City AIDS Walk, part of AIDS Walk Michigan, will welcome a very special guest to their area in the 24 hours leading up to their fundraising event on Sept. 27: Jeanne White-Ginder.
White-Ginder is famed mother of Ryan White, a teenage boy who was diagnosed with HIV and barred from attending school. He and his mother then waged a very touching, very public battle to help people understand and accept those who were HIV positive.
And now, White-Ginder will bring her story and support to Michigan where she’ll speak at a luncheon at Saginaw Valley State University on Sept. 26 and attend the AIDS walk the next morning in downtown Bay City.
White is being brought by the Bay Area Social Intervention Services HIV/AIDS Care Program, a service of the Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Center. The organization, led by Tom Brubaker, will receive all funds donated for the walk for their HIV/AIDS services., which currently serves about 150 clients.
Last year, the walk raised $38,000, coming in right behind Detroit as the second highest fundraiser AIDS walk in the state. This year, with just a few weeks until the event, they have raised almost $30,000.
This year, however, will mark the first with such a prominent speaker. “This is our fourth year being part of AIDS Walk Michigan,” Brubaker noted, “so this is really exciting for us.”
The visit also marks the 20th anniversary of BASIS, which has provided services in the Bay City, Saginaw and Midland area since the late ’80s. “It’s an honor to have Jeannie [sic] White coming here for our 20th anniversary,” Brubaker said, “and to be able to time it with our annual AIDS walk.”
To donate to any AIDS Walk Michigan event, visit http://www.aidswalkmichigan.org.
Bay City/Midland/Saginaw AIDS walk
11 a.m. Sept. 27
Wenonah Park, Bay City