More than $675,000 raised for AIDS charities

Last weekend more than 600 people made the journey from Miami to Key West for the The Southern Most/AIDS Ride – The SMART Ride. The adventure started Thursday with orientation, a display of portions of the AIDS quilt, a walking timeline as a recognition of milestones in the thirty year battle to concur and curtail the spread of HIV/AIDS, and finally a candlelight vigil and opening ceremonies.

Friday morning as the sun rose above the horizon a perfect rainbow appeared in the sky as the riders started their two-day ride from Miami to Key West.

"It was an incredible moment when we opened this years ride and the riders began to depart under a beautiful skyline the wind carrying them South,” said SMART Ride founder, Glen Weinzimer.

When they arrived two days later, the riders where hailed in a parade the likes of which only Key West could do, finally ending at the AIDS Memorial at the white street pier.

From the stage the riders and crew were introduced to throngs of well wishes that filled the pier. The rider less cycle entered the ceremonies representing all those that have been lost to AIDS over the past thirty years. It was then revealed that for the first time in the history of the SMART Rides more than $675,724 had been raised to date – a 40 percent increase over 2010.

"Despite hard economic times, despite a bad economy, people proved that when it matters we can pull together to help the communities we live in, ADAP, Ryan White funding cuts make this years results even that more gratifying,” Weinzimer said.

Visit TheSmartRide.org for more information.


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