PALM SPRINGS – It’s time to put on your walking shoes for one of the most significant humanitarian efforts of the year — the 32nd Annual Desert AIDS Walk that steps off at 8 a.m. in Ruth Hardy Park on Saturday, Oct. 19.

More than 2,000 people will gather to walk for the future of health care – and remember friends and family members lost because to AIDS.

Registration is now open and available online by clicking here: The event is family and pet friendly with water stations along the route.

The annual event is designed to raise money to help expand DAP’s HIV testing and comprehensive, compassionate care for nearly 6,500 Coachella Valley neighbors and friends.

This year’s walk theme is “Walk a Day in our Shoes.” Participants will walk a 3.5 mile round-trip walk through downtown Palm Springs.

In a prepared statement, Desert AIDS Project’s Chief Development Officer Darrell Tucci said, “Desert AIDS Project has a long history as a leader in community healthcare and is unique in its approach to providing comprehensive services to underserved communities. We are, at our core, a non-profit health care center, specializing in HIV and infectious disease, supported in large part by the communities we serve.”

When the Walk kicks off at 9 a.m. it will be led by six-time Emmy Award-winning TV journalist, Hank Plante who was featured in the documentary “5B” about the first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital. He will be joined by health care providers from Desert AIDS Project and Desert Regional Medical Center.

For those who haven’t seen the film, The Desert Sun is teaming up with NBC Palm Springs and Desert AIDS Project to host a special screening of the documentary at 7 p.m. on October 11 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center. “5B” tells the true story of the group of nurses and caregivers who opened the world’s first AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital and changed the way patients were cared for during the 1980s AIDS epidemic. Plante will participate in a Q&A after the screening with DAP’s Dr. Shubha Kerkar. The event is free and open to the public,

Reserve your free tickets online by clicking here starting Sept. 22.

Desert AIDS Walk registration begins at 7 a.m. Walkers are encouraged to come early to explore the Health and Wellness Festival presented by Walgreens featuring 50 different booths, complimentary coffee and pastries courtesy of Koffi Palm Springs, a rock climbing wall, and a DJ who will be playing high energy music before the walk begins. At the end of the walk, participants can enjoy complimentary snacks provided by Sysco Riverside or food from Haus of Poke Food on Wheels and Hey Day Burger pop-up. Both will donate a percentage of sales to DAP. Kid’s Activity Zone. Live entertainment will continue until 1 p.m.

Desert AIDS Walk is presented by Desert Care Network in support of Desert AIDS Project. Hosting the mainstage for the third year in a row will be Bryan Gallo and Thalia Hayden from NBC Palm Springs.  They will be joined by Sandie Newton, the host of Your Health Today. DAP’s, -CEO David Brinkman and Chief Development Officer Darrell Tucci will speak about how funds from the walk will be used at Desert AIDS Project and why your support is essential to the mission of DAP. Tucci will introduce local political leaders who will welcome walkers.

Image Sources

  • 2018 Desert AIDS Walk: John Pacheco