On Sunday, May 18, 36 members of the Trinity Wall Street community participated in the 29th annual AIDS WALK NY. This was the largest Trinity AIDS WALK NY team to date.
“This has been my dream for Trinity Wall Street,” said parishioner Al DiRaffaele, founder of the Trinity AIDS WALK NY team. “The ‘Remember to Love’ ribbons we had [for the tenth anniversary of September 11] mean a lot to me. That’s what it’s all about: remembering to love those that have passed, those that are sick, those in hospitals, and the kids who are coming of age—they need our educating them.”
For returning participant Toni Foy the walk was a chance to raise awareness and remember old friends. “When I started walking, I didn’t have really close people affected. As a matter of fact some of the people who are no longer with us, with me, used to walk in the walk. And so I want to do my part when the opportunity comes.”
Members of Trinity’s youth group also participated in the walk.
“Three weeks ago, after Al made the pitch [for joining the Trinity AIDS WALK team], I asked the youth and their parents if they would like to be involved,” Rite 13 leader Patrice-Lou Thomas said. “My pitch was that Jesus was actually going about healing people. He was in the ministry of making people well. And part of this walk is…bringing us closer to a cure for this epidemic.”
Parent Mutsa Tunduwani said, “I was excited to bring awareness to the younger kids in the youth group, making them aware of issues that are not just affecting the older generation but potentially their generation as well.”
Youth group member Olivia, participating in her first AIDS WALK NY, hoped to raise awareness both inside and outside of the church community.
“I think everybody needs to be informed about this, and the fact that there aren’t any real cures yet. We like to think we have the answers for everything, but we really don’t.”