Final Tally Is In: UCSF Surpasses Goals to be Top Fundraiser in AIDS Walk SF 2015

UCSF organizers for AIDS Walk 2015 gathered for a reception on Aug. 26 to celebrating their record fundraising totals and to recognize the top fundraisers. Photo by Susan Merrell

UC San Francisco teams that participated in AIDS Walk San Francisco 2015 have collectively raised nearly $130,000 in funds to support Project Inform and HIV-related programs and services throughout the Bay Area.

With more than 400 participants in the July 19 event, the UCSF contingent easily surpassed the $90,000 goal set by this year’s UCSF AIDS Walk Steering Committee. Their efforts place UCSF as the top fundraiser for the third year in a row.

At a reception hosted on Aug. 26 at Mission Bay, the committee honored the efforts of all the walkers, volunteers and donors and recognized the winners of this year’s friendly fundraising competition. The UCSF Alliance Health Project (AHP), which formed a team for the first time this year, finished as the top fund-raising team with nearly $29,000.

Chancellor Sam Hawgood (center) congratulates UCSF's top two individual AIDS Walk fundraisers, Robert Mansfield of Global Health Sciences and DK Haas of Alliance Health Project. Photo by Susan Merrell

Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, who attended the reception, presented the winners with the UCSF AIDS Walk trophy. Hawgood applauded the efforts of all the teams, calling out their enthusiasm and dedication over the last several decades. “While the money itself is important for the work we do, everyone’s participation – and the place we have in the community as a result – is just as crucial,” he said.

DK Haas, one of AHP’s team leaders, and Robert Mansfield, communications coordinator for Global Health Sciences, were the top individual fundraisers (at $7,998 and $8,400, respectively). Haas has worked in the HIV/AIDS community for decades, but this was her first year participating in the AIDS Walk. Mansfield has been part of the event every year since 1996, and has seen the atmosphere change from fear and sadness to one of hope for an imminent cure.

“The first time I participated, I was expecting a somber memorial of sorts,” he recalls. “Instead, it was and still is a celebration of people’s lives.”

Mansfield attributes this year’s fundraising success to the ever-increasing number of participants, including the debut of the Mission Bay Hospitals team led by Kimberly Scurr, executive director of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Mission Bay. Even as he stands beside the 2015 trophy, Mansfield is already excited for next year. “It’s the 30th anniversary of the SF AIDS Walk, so we are going to make it really special,” he says.

Mansfield, who has led fundraising as an individual for the past four years, will take on a new role as a member of the board of trustees of the newly formed AIDS Walk San Francisco Foundation. “As a stand-alone non-profit, the foundation looks forward to carrying on the legacy of AIDS Walk San Francisco to benefit the many organizations in our city doing such wonderful work in HIV/AIDS and related fields.” 

Mansfield has been tapped to serve as treasurer, and he introduced Serafina Palandech, president of the board, to reception attendees. Palandech recognized the continued efforts of UCSF and said she is excited to work with us in the future. “I have always been moved by the level of involvement by UCSF over the years.  I am sure the UCSF team will create ever better results in 2016 by fulfilling the Chancellor's expressed goals to increase participation, fundraising and to foster a compelling sense of friendly competition within your amazing organization.”

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