By Al Novack

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The weather turned out to be perfect for the 26th annual AIDS Walk Philly, which attracted several thousand participants.

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The event’s goal is to raise at least $500,000.

“All the money raised by the AIDS Walk stays in the Philadelphia region. We have 30 partner organizations, who are on the front lines of this epidemic and receive funding from this event and they do everything from street outreach in high risk areas to counseling and testing to education programs, case management services, legal service, medical care, food, meals, and hospice care for the most vulnerable people living with HIV,” said executive director Rob Rhiechert.

Rheichert says HIV/AIDS is as prevalent as it ever it was (see related story).

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Pat Lovell has been taking part in the AIDS walk ever since it began 26 years ago. One of her involvements has been with the memorial patch quilt that has become synonymous with this annual event.

“The quilt – we make a tradition of bringing some of the panels of the unfortunately enormous AIDS quilt to our walk in Philadelphia. So I think we have 25 panels to show here and remind us of some of the people we’ve lost to AIDS.”

The quilt was on display for thousands of participants and spectators to view before and during the AIDS event at the base of the art museum steps.

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