“The Paradise Project” brings New Jersey to the New York AIDS Walk

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Paradise Projectinterview

The New York AIDS Walk is not only the biggest AIDS walk in the world, but the biggest fundraising walk of its kind. This year, two residents of New Jersey, Michael Poretti and Michael Marielli, are representing the LGBT community of New Jersey and have organized a team of their own for the walk. Along with sponsorship from Paradise in Asbury Park, team captain Poretti gave me a little insight into their inspiration for creating a New Jersey based team.

Michael, what gave you the inspiration to participate in this walk?

The team started when Mike Marielli, my co-captain, and I were talking about our participation last year in the walk as members of the Harvey Milk team, which was the No. 2 team in terms of fund-raising. We had an amazing experience, and were struck by how many of our New Jersey friends, who frequent the city already, did not participate in the walk. We decided to form our own team and recruit as many of our New Jersey friends as possible!

How did you get participation from Paradise in Asbury Park?

Although the nightclub is in a “beach town,” Michael and I both have connections to the management there, and they enthusiastically agreed to sponsor us, thus creating “The Paradise Project”! We are still in the process of planning specific fund-raising events with Paradise, but we have a number of things in the works–an AIDS Walk night at the club, a brunch at the club’s cafe the week before the walk for all the team members, promotional posters, signing people up via iPads at the club, having the staff of the club walk on the team. They have been great to work with.

Why is it so important to you and Michael?

That answer is simple: We have so many friends, who we care so deeply about, that are directly impacted by HIV/AIDS and we figured this is the least we can to show our support.

We also believe the New York AIDS Walk in particular is an amazing charity event because it not only supports the fight in a monetary sense, but it also lends mental and emotional support–having tens of thousands of people walk in support of those with HIV/AIDS. It’s a great way to show the HIV/AIDS community that they’re not in the fight alone.

On the Web: http://tiny.cc/TheParadiseProject 

 

Paradise Projectinterview

The New York AIDS Walk is not only the biggest AIDS walk in the world, but the biggest fundraising walk of its kind. This year, two residents of New Jersey, Michael Poretti and Michael Marielli, are representing the LGBT community of New Jersey and have organized a team of their own for the walk. Along with sponsorship from Paradise in Asbury Park, team captain Poretti gave me a little insight into their inspiration for creating a New Jersey based team.