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Mayor’s Task Force to Hold Annual Candlelight AIDS Vigil

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The Bristol Mayor’s Task Force on HIV/AIDS will hold its annual Candlelight Vigil on Federal Hill Green on Wednesday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Alice Ferguson, the Task Force’s newest member.

Ms. Ferguson, a peer navigator with Human Resources Agency, has lived with HIV for over 35 years. She is the chair of the City of Hartford Commission on HIV/AIDS, a member of the Ryan White Planning Council and is a member of the State Innovative Model (SIM) Health Care Consumer Advisory Board.

The Task Force meets monthly at City Hall and includes a broad group of individuals and agencies all of whom recognize the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its effects locally. Task Force projects focus on identifying services for individuals and families affected by HIV as well as planning and implementing education and prevention.

For over twenty-five years, the annual HIV/AIDS Vigil has been held during AIDS Awareness month to remember those who have been infected and affected by this disease. This year’s commemoration will include the opportunity to add loved ones names to a panel for the National AIDS quilt. The names of loved ones affected by HIV/AIDS will be recognized by reading them aloud during the vigil.

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu will address the group. Pastor Kristen Kleiman, minister at the First Congregational Church, will offer the invocation and benediction. The Church, on the Green, will serve as the rain site for the vigil. Beverages will be provided by the Salvation Army after the conclusion of the program. Musical performances are also planned.

The Task Force began meeting in 1991 when few services were available for those affected by HIV and little education had been done. There is no charge for attending the event. For further information please contact Valerie Ingram,

860-826-4741 or vingram@hranbct.org.

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