ONE Wisconsin walks for AIDS

The AIDS Walk Wisconsin is an event that has been making a difference for more than 20 years in the lives of Wisconsin residents living with HIV and AIDS, and I was honored to serve as a volunteer for ONE on Saturday.

Our booth featured ONE banners, posters and literature, alongside ONE T-shirts and bracelets. Our specific objectives for that event were not only to tell participants about ONE, but also get people to sign postcards to the Wisconsin Senate candidates, Tammy Baldwin and Tommy Thompson, asking their support for life-saving global HIV/AIDS programs.

R. Gertrude Pourrier with Mayor Tom Barrett

People who were able to recruit five others to sign postcards were given a free ONE T-shirt to wear as reward for helping with our outreach efforts. We were able to get a total of 164 signed postcards!

I was touched by the support of Milwaukee Mayor Mr. Tom Barrett, who I was able to interact with briefly and photograph. In attendance was also Milwaukee Brewers All-Star and National League MVP Ryan Braun, who served as honorary chair for the event. There was immense corporate support of the event, which for me, represents not only their interest in a disease that is threatening a healthy workforce, but a drive in supporting workers and families.

An emotional testimony by an HIV-positive gentleman was effective in encouraging others to go out and get tested and know their status.

I was proud to represent ONE in lobbying politicians to protect HIV/AIDS programs and work toward the goal of having “No Child Born with HIV” by 2015.

Bravo to ONE Congressional District Leader for Milwaukee Sando T. Johnson Jr. for coordinating our participation in the event!

-R Gertrude Pourrier, ONE Volunteer, Wisconsin