Pacific Pride Foundation will host its 25th Annual Heart + Sole AIDS Walk Oct. 3 at Leadbetter Beach.

Funds from the walk will stay local and support the thousands of men, women and children affected by or at risk of HIV/AIDS in Santa Barbara County, as well as HIV/Aids education.

This year’s walk will highlight the past, present and future of the AIDS crisis in Santa Barbara County and  will feature an AIDS Walk Founders Team with the original advocates coming together to support the walk once again.

Jon Gathercole and Claude Raffin have also agreed to match PPF’s fundraising efforts. For every dollar raised in the next two weeks, Gathercole and Raffin will double the donation up to $10,000. 

“The fight has against HIV/AIDS has shifted over the years,” said Executive Director, Colette Schabram. “The danger now is an assumption that the epidemic is over. This misconception and complacency is leading to more infections and less testing. The Heart + Sole AIDS walk is an opportunity to raise awareness and support those affected by HIV/AIDS in our community.” 

Pacific Pride Foundation has set a fundraising goal of $125,000, which will support their fight against HIV/AIDs and will help continue to provide programs/services for HIV positive clients in Santa Barbara County.

Individuals can also join the walk and raise funds in memory of or in honor of loved ones affected by HIV/AIDS.

$25 will provide two counseling sessions for low-income clients in need, $250 will provide 20 HIV test kits, $2,500 will support a strategic testing fair and $25,000 will stock PPF’s North and South County food pantries with a one month supply of groceries

Pacific Pride Foundation is the only provider of free and anonymous HIV testing on the Central Coast. Each year, PFF provides more than 1,500 HIV tests and educates over 3,200 at-risk people on basic HIV prevention.

It also provides food for families and individuals affected by AIDS through food pantries and offers care for HIV-positive clients.

This year, PPF is launching a mobile testing unit which will allow staff to target at-risk sections of the county and reach people who don’t have access to free and anonymous testing facilities.

Check-in and registration will begin at 9 a.m., and the walk will start at 10 a.m. Participants must pay a $25 registration fee and are encouraged to raise $500 or more, but there is no required minimum. 

For more information about the Heart + Sole Walk or to get started with your fundraising, visit or contact Jackie VanLingen at or 805.963.3636 x111.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing Pacific Pride Foundation.