Despite a sluggish start to its fundraising drive, the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life met its goal over the weekend.
The major funding drive for Positive Living North brought in more than $23,000 in both cash donations and in-kind contributions from businesses.
"I really want to thank Prince George, the community really came through," walk organizer Sandra Sasaki said. "A couple of weeks ago we were sitting at so much less than we had the previous year and I thought, 'we're not even going to come close [to the goal]' but we did."
Although cash donations were down this year and the walk attracted fewer participants than past years, Sasaki said the organization is still in position to offer its full range of services. Proceeds from its local fundraising drives like the walk, raffles and pub nights fund grassroots programs ranging from offering food supplements to people living with HIV and AIDS to healthy activities for Positive Living North clients.
"It's really nice to be able to go out and spend time with someone in a positive environment and in a fun activity and they can talk about things," Sasaki said. "It's simple things that can make their lives more enjoyable."
The walk brought in over $14,000 in cash donations, down about $5,000 from last year but in-kind donations like raffle prizes from Scotiabank, WestJet and Coast Hotels helped the organization over its goal.
With the walk done for another year, Sasaki is able to devote more time to her other role with Positive Living North - providing HIV/AIDS educational opportunities to schools, businesses and community groups.
"My rule is thumb is, anyone who will listen, I will come and tell them about HIV and AIDS," she said.