Three hundred participants step onto Main Street to Walk for AIDS.

BELMONT, N.C. — House of Mercy, a nonprofit residence serving low-income persons living with advanced AIDS, held its 17th Annual Walk for AIDS on Saturday, April 10. The event drew out 300 participants to raise AIDS awareness and funds to benefit House of Mercy.

Stan Patterson, president of House of Mercy, welcomed participants and honored guest Janet Kirkpatrick before the walk. Kirkpatrick is a former House of Mercy resident who recently returned to independent living due to improved health. She spoke to the crowd about how she was able to turn her life around with the love and support of House of Mercy staff.

Following the three-mile walk through historic downtown Belmont, walkers gathered on the House of Mercy grounds for a picnic lunch. DJ Buddy Love provided music and inspiration for dancing. Stan Patterson announced over $20,000 had been raised to support services at House of Mercy. Prizes were awarded to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, top fundraising team, and to Scott Cloninger, top individual fundraiser. Tania Marciano, captain of Our Lady of Guadalupe team, set a record with 160 members participating. Scott Cloninger has been a top Walk for AIDS fundraiser for several years. House of Mercy extends a heartfelt thanks to all who helped in this fundraising effort.

Sponsors providing financial support include MCC-Charlotte, QNotes, WSGE 91.7 fm, Tibotec Therapeutics, Gilead Sciences, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas – South Central Community, Complete Wellness, BrookCare Pharmacy, and St. Mark Catholic Church. Friends supporting the Walk include Beam Electric Company, Environmental Diversified Services, ID Associates – CaroMont Medical Group, Lucas Concrete Products, Merck & Co., St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Tony’s Ice Cream Company, The Tradesmen, Wachovia – A Wells Fargo Company, and The Woodshed Lounge.

— Marjorie Storch composed this piece for House of Mercy and submitted it to qnotes for publication.