CAMP Rehoboth, an organization committed to celebrating diversity, building a strong sense of community, and Creating a More Positive environment for all people in Rehoboth Beach, will recognize World AIDS Day with a candlelight walk, service of remembrance and hope, and other activities Sunday, Dec. 1.
World AIDS Day is celebrated around the world and has become one of the most recognized international health days. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have died, and celebrate victories such as better understanding of the disease and increased access to treatment.
The theme of World AIDS Day is Getting to Zero, which refers to the goal of reducing the incidence of the disease to zero. Locally, CAMP Rehoboth is using the theme A Light in the Dark to focus attention on both global and local statistics and stories. Committee members who organized the local events include Murray Archibald, co-chair; Steve Elkins; the Rev. Pat Loughlin; Ken Mahan; Glen Pruitt, co-chair; the Rev. Vicky Starnes; Sal Seeley; and the Rev. Max Wolf.
More than 25 million people died of AIDS between 1981 and 2007, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.
“Part of World AIDS Day has to be remembering persons we lost to the disease,” says Pruitt. “We honor their memory. We celebrate who they were as individuals. However, remembering them also reminds us of how far we have coming in dealing with HIV/AIDS, and it challenges us to work even harder until we live in a world with no new HIV infections, in a world with a cure for AIDS.”
The World AIDS Day activities in Rehoboth will begin at 6:15 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 1, with a prewalk gathering and candle lighting at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand, Rehoboth Avenue at the Boardwalk. At 6:30, the candlelight walk will begin at the Bandstand and proceed down Rehoboth Avenue, ending at All Saints’ Church, 18 Olive Ave.
At 7 p.m., a service of remembrance and hope - including a reading of names - will begin at the church, and will be followed by a light supper at 7:45. Music will be provided by the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus, Andrea Jones, and others. All activities are free and open to the public.
The Rehoboth Beach Candlelight Walk and Service of Remembrance and Hope are supported by CAMP Rehoboth, Epworth United Methodist Church, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, AIDS Delaware, Delaware HIV Consortium, and the Cape Gazette.
To volunteer or to have the name of a family member or friend who has died from AIDS added to the list of names to be read at the service, call the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center at 302-227-5620, or go to www.camprehoboth.com.