The AIDS Walk for Life will be receiving a little fundraising help from heroes and villains this year. These unlikely allies are clearing their weekends to walk for a noble cause.
Every September, costume-clad walkers show up to the events across Canada to turn the walks into veritable parades—celebrations of the lives of people affected daily by AIDS.
These walkers realize that there are few better ways to draw attention to the fundraiser than strolling down the street as Batman or Captain America. Though some costumes may be goofy, those wearing them are seriously devoted to eradicating AIDS in their lifetimes. With 1 in 3 HIV diagnoses happening in youth under 30, the AIDS Walk for Life is as much an attempt to raise awareness as it is to raise money.
One walker who won't have trouble raising awareness is Dead Robot, a prolific Toronto blogger. He's paying homage to Star Wars by doing the walk in a full Sandtrooper outfit (a Stormtrooper variant).
Dead Robot's armour isn't exactly as comfortable as its movie counterpart. But despite the hot and cumbersome nature of the costume, his walk shouldn't be too bad. After all, he's inspired by Paul French, a man who walked over 4,000 kilometres from Perth to Sydney in his Stormtrooper outfit.
While Dead Robot will be marching alone, this doesn't rule out the chance of other costumed characters travelling together. (Indeed, it's quite possibly one of the most positive changes that can come from people walking down streets in clothing with matching colours.) Toronto's AIDS Walk for Life will need as many teams as possible to hit their $500 000 goal. Last year alone, walking teams accounted for more than 50% of total funds raised.
Excited, I ask Dead Robot if he has any plans to walk with the 501st Legion, an organization devoted to wearing movie-accurate Star Wars costumes.
“I brought it up to the Canadian 501st and the consensus was, 'Why didn't we think of this sooner?' My goal for next year is to really get a troop going.”
Toronto's version of the AIDS Walk for Life will be held on September 25th at the corner of Church and Carlton. All proceeds will go to the AIDS Committee of Toronto.