Mahatma Ghandi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” (www.cvc. vipnet.org). Following his wellknown advice, WCUR and the WCU Skate Club co-sponsored and organized the AIDS Blockade this past Friday, Oct. 21. These two organizations, along with contributions from the WCU Wellness Center and Outer Limits Entertainment, transformed Ehinger Gym into a rock concert, skate park and an AIDS information center. Three popular local bands – Harsh Reaction, Leaving Cash and Sure Juror – took the stage, drawing in a crowd of excited fans who were moving to the music.Occasionally one of the WCUR DJs would take a moment to address listeners, both those attending and those listening via the airwaves, to remind everyone of the charitable purpose behind this event. Members of the WCU Skate Club also provided a performance of their own, though not in the music genre. With wooden ramps, boxes and pipes, the boarders showed off their sometimes dangerous-looking moves. Jumps, twists and spins combined with a harsh fall or two added to the exciting atmosphere. An information table was set up with pamphlets about the AIDS and the HIV virus. From causes and prevention tips to Chester County support groups, a lot of helpful information was available for attendees. They also handed out free condoms and other protection methods.
Though the event was free, money was collected for charity in a variety of ways. A raffle was held giving away prizes such as Sobe Adrenaline Rush Energy drinks and concert tickets. Members of the AIDS Blockade committee walked around in white T-shirts advertising their event and guests could purchase these shirts for $5 each. Also, collection buckets were passed around every once in awhile, donations. All the money raised by this event was given to the AIDS Fund of Philadelphia.
This local fundraising group “supports HIV/ AIDS education prevention, and services in the Delaware Valley Region by raising dollars and increasing public awareness about the impact of HIV on our communities” (www.phillyfunguide.com). There are nearly 30 local organizations which receive funding from the AIDS Fund, all contributing to a better understanding and acceptance of this illness in our society.
Though the weather was cold and rainy, the AIDS Blockade definitely managed to brighten up West Chester’s campus. All who attended seemed to enjoy the performances, both musical and athletic, and more importantly, were supporting a very important cause.