October is the month to raise money, raise awareness, and raise your heart rate with charity walks happening every weekend in DC.
By Kate Faherty
October in D.C. is about more than just pumpkin spice lattes and fall foliage. This month, residents have plenty of chances to raise money while still getting the chance to enjoy the city. Whatever your charity of choice may be, walking or running for the cause is a great way to raise money for the cause. Sign up as a team or an individual, raise some money, grab your sneakers and explore the beautiful city.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Light the Night Walk
The Light the Night Walk is recognized for the illuminated balloons that walkers carry, varying in color according to if walkers are current patients, supporters, or walking in memory of a loved one. The walk, benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, begins at Freedom Plaza then goes down Pennsylvania Avenue, around the Capital reflecting pool and back down Pennsylvania Avenue. The walk is a 2.5-mile loop and is meant to be walked at a casual pace. Racers are expected to finish between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Check-in and the Light the Night Celebration begins at 5 p.m. The remembrance ceremony for those who have lost their battle against blood cancers takes place at 6 p.m. in the courtyard of the Ronald Regan Building and International Trade Center. Walkers are encourages to set their own fundraising goals, and all walkers who raise $100 or more receive a free t-shirt. The DC Transit Band will be playing before and after the walk.
American Diabetes Association
Step out Walk to STOP Diabetes
Walkers are called to “share, act, learn, and give” during the American Diabetes Association‘s full-force Step Out Walk. Diabetes affects millions of individuals and families of all ages all across the U.S., which means that the Step Out Walk brings out a large army of walkers in each city who have been affected by the disease. The walk raises money for the ADA and also raises awareness, which is vital for the prevention of Diabetes. Held at Washington Nationals Park, the walk can be either either a 2-mile or 4-mile loop. Registration begins at 8 a.m., Step Out activities begin at 9:30 a.m., and the walk begins at 10 a.m. The day is not over when the walkers cross the finish line, though. There will be group exercises occurring into the afternoon, and local band Mass Ave will be performing throughout the day. Walkers get a free t-shirt when they raise $100, and more prizes are available with more fundraising.
AIDS Walk Washington
The Annual AIDS Walk brings out huge numbers of DC residents who want to put their foot down against HIV/AIDS. In DC, 3% of adults knowingly have HIV and an additional 3% of DC residents are unknowingly infected with the disease, according to Whitman-Walker Health. The AIDS walk not only raises a great deal of awareness and teaches residents about HIV/AIDS, but it also raises a great deal of money each year to fight the epidemic. At the walk each year, the AIDS Walk Courage Award is presented to a local patient and inspiration who is fighting the disease. The walk takes place at Freedom Plaza on October 29th, and registration begins as early as 7 a.m. The day’s activities begin at 8:15 a.m. with music, guest speakers and warm-up exercises. At 8:30, the 5th annual 5K Run begins. Then at 9:15, walkers begin the 25th annual AIDS Walk. After the walk, walkers can hang around and enjoy musical performances and recognition of the walk’s top fundraisers.
American Cancer Society
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk
In a spirited effort to create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays, the American Cancer Society attracts a large amount of supporters each year at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. A sea of pink overtakes the National Mall on October 29th as survivors, caretakers and supporters join together to share their stories and fight the battle against breast cancer.Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the walkers take off at 10 a.m. The entire route is 3.2 miles, and should take walkers between one and two hours. The walk is a place for survivors to gather, and survivors have the chance to join together for the survivor photo. Walkers may sign up on a team or as an individual, and all walkers are encouraged to think pink when getting dressed for the walk!
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Out of the Darkness Community Walk
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is gaining momentum and expanding its influence be means of raising awareness. The issue is becoming more widespread, so the foundation is doing the same. On October 29th at sunset, the national monuments act as the background and a silent reminder of lives lost during the Out of the Darkness Walk. With a fundraising goal of $35,000, supporters are walking to raise money for AFSP. Walkers are also walking to save lives. The walk will bring awareness to the DC area, and the walkers will prove that the issue at hand is a serious one. The walk begins at 5:30 p.m. and will wrap up around 7:30 p.m. Walkers can check in and register at 4:30 p.m at Sylvan Theater. The walk route takes walkers past the newly-opened Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at Sunset for a peaceful end to the evening.