You are invited and encouraged to join The Genard AIDS Foundation as we participate in our 6th annual acknowledgement of World AIDS Day, December 1st. This event is designed to commemorate those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in our community.
We honor the day by holding a peaceful and silent candle light march. For the last 5 years we've held our march in downtown Walnut Creek's Liberty Bell Plaza and the Dean Lesher Theatre for Performing Arts. However, this year, we've decided to take the recommendation of Mayor Helen M. Allen and many of Concord's City Council members and move our event to downtown Concord. This is especially fitting since this year our Foundation will honor the Rainbow Community Center of Concord and the Hospice of Contra Costa County for their tremendous work in education and eradication of this disease.
We will begin our candle lighting ceremony at the Gates of the Civic Center (corner of Parkside Drive and Willow Pass Road). We will gather at 6:00 p.m. and begin the march promptly at 6:30 p.m. The Mayor will say a few welcoming words, or perhaps make a proclamation announcing December 1st as World AIDS Day in Concord. Then she will light a ceremonial candle and begin to pass the light onto other candleholders. Once all candles are lit, we will march west up Willow Pass to the east edge of the Park and Shop shopping center.
Then we will turn around and walk back to Concord Avenue, go north one block and then turn right ending up at Todos Santos Plaza. Participants will then circle the Park and hold a "Reading of Names". If you have lost someone or want to remember someone lost to this pandemic, you are welcomed to call out his or her name. Otherwise the name of a person lost to AIDS can be provided to you. Dignitaries will make brief statements and proclamations will be issued from the stage to honor the Rainbow Community Center, Hospice of Contra Costa County and acknowledge the city of Concord for encouraging us to hold this event in Concord.
Afterwards join us at a table adjacent to the stage for coffee and wonderful desserts graciously donated by the Southern Oven Baking Company of Walnut Creek. Donations will be graciously accepted at this time. The entire event will take approximately one and a half hours. So please, plan now to join us Wednesday evening, December 1st, at 6:00 p.m. It will be a remarkable event. You'll be glad you came.