Aunt Rita’s Foundation is marking its 35th anniversary as the “Connector of the HIV Community.” An organization that was born to cover friends’ rent, medical bills, and eventually funeral costs, has over the years provided millions of dollars to programs working to end HIV in Arizona. Last year alone, Aunt Rita’s funded over $474,000 toward the extinction of HIV/AIDS.

The organization is celebrating by marking another milestone in its history as well — for the 15th year, the foundation will present AIDS Walk Arizona Festival and 5K, to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 25, at Tempe Beach Park.

“This year’s theme is ‘Brand New Day,’ to remind us of how far we’ve come,” the organization said.

All proceeds are disbursed to partner agencies to cover the costs of programs and services supported by Aunt Rita’s. Participants may sign up and form teams at


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