Washington, D.C.-based Whitman-Walker Clinic has formed a 20-member task force to determine whether the HIV/AIDS service group should continue holding its annual AIDS Walk fund-raiser in light of dwindling participation and proceeds raised in recent years, The Washington Post reports. The agency had hoped to raise $840,000 at this year's event but brought in less than $600,000. With expenses for the annual event estimated at about $500,000, this year's event netted just $100,000 for the clinic. Last year's walk, held shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, netted only $4,000 for the clinic. The 1997 D.C. AIDS Walk, by contrast, collected a total revenue of $2.6 million, $1.7 million of which went to the clinic.
"We are disappointed that this year's walk did not meet even its modest minimum financial projections," said clinic executive director A. Cornelius Baker. "We are evaluating how we can continue to produce this event, given the costs associated with it and the net return over the past few years." The task force will determine whether Whitman-Walker should continue to hold the annual fund-raiser and, if they do not recommend discontinuing the walk, how to boost participation and donations. Recommendations will be presented to the clinic's board of directors at its December meeting.