BHS Well-Represented at a Walk To Remember And Fight


Jennie Sabella, Entertainment Reporter

On Sunday, May 17th 2015, the 30th Annual NYC AIDS Walk was held in Central Park. This 10K/6.2 mile fundraising walk is dedicated to trying to find a cure to end the deadly sexually transmitted disease AIDS/HIV, which affects more than 35 million people worldwide. Student United For Tolerance joined many others participating in this walk. The Tolerance Club raised a total of $1,295 with help from the 33 students inside and outside the club, as well as Ms. Bertolotti, Ms. Del Vecchio, Ms. Lohsen and Ms. Bellairs.

This reporter was there for her third time. The students and teachers were pumped and motivated to get on the bus at BHS at 7:30 in morning. Some didn’t know what to expect, while others–such Ms. Bertolotti, Jasmine Flynn, Megan Philips, Hernan Sanchez, and Kathryn Backman–have been before and know aches that will follow the next day. Even for the veterans, there was still excitement from helping millions. On the drive there, everyone ate breakfast and talked, trying to pass the time before reaching the city.

With high hopes everyone got off the bus and walked into Central Park. Special guests and even Governor Cuomo came to speak before the walk began. He talked about how amazing it was to see everyone come together for this special fundraising and spoke about equality as well.

Then we were on our way, walking the path cleared for us through the city. It was the perfect day for this: the sun was shining brightly with only a few threatening clouds. It was pretty hot and humid though, but it didn’t stop anyone’s motivation. As the hours passed, it got harder to walk, feet were aching, skin was burned, and sweat was everywhere. The students were true troopers. The reason for being there was greater than the pain they felt in their legs.

Ms. Bertolotti said, “Our involvement is symbolic of the support we give to the community affected by HIV/AIDS; that community is the human race.” Being there shows the reality to the people that haven’t really been affected by AIDS/HIV. It shows how much people need the fundraising and even just walking those 6.2 miles is amazing support.

It’s great that BHS has been involved with this walk for the last six years. Before Ms. Bertolotti took over as supervisor for Tolerance, Mrs. Sestak started the club and led it towards this event.

“The club was originally intended to be a GSA [Gay/Straight Alliance], which then expanded to Tolerance, which is for the acceptance of everyone. Tolerance wanted to be a part of something which was a growing cause. AIDS/HIV affects so many.”

Junior Jasmine Flynn, a member since freshman year and president since last year, has been on this walk three times, and she said, “Yeah, it’s hot and sometimes painful, but the sense of belonging I feel with each and every walk makes it worth it. I can be exactly who I am for those 6.2 miles without fear of judgement.”