“Last night was a remarkable experience for me and far exceeded any expectations. I have not attended a candle light vigil for HIV/AIDS in more than ten years. As so many others expressed, the loss experienced over the years is overwhelming. My family of choice disappeared within a matter months as HIV/AIDS claimed their bodies.

Sharing the night with those who attended the Vigil made me aware I have a family by choice today. The vigil is for remembrance of those no longer with us, and also a celebration for those present now. I never expected to laugh and enjoy the night as I did.

Thank you to the men of the L.I.F.E. Project (PALS) for wearing the “HIV POSITIVE” t-shirt and providing your programs to our community.” – Jim

“…the real gift came to me the evening of the candlelight vigil. When I saw the sea of black HIV POSITIVE t-shirts, I was blown away. It was great to see men with smiles wearing their shirts. To see their smiles when they were putting on their shirts and how they stood with pride….letting the universe know their status, was a significant moment for me. It was more than just a t-shirt. It was about us, our friends, our community. Lets continue to stay connected… Stay in the Light” – Joe

For once, I really felt like I belonged.”

“I started walking 18 years ago for my brother who died. Before he got sick, I didn’t know he was Gay and I really didn’t know any Gay people. These walks have connected me to my brother and to the incredible loving world in which he lived.” – Maria

“I was unable to be at the Candlelight Vigil this year due to a bad cold. I am very inspired in several ways. First, your statement of the Black Shirts (tasteful I must add…I am always into ‘simple elegance’) and the number of black shirts was amazing. I am jealous I don’t have one! LOL

“Your ‘shirt’ statement reminded me of what would happen in edgy New York or San Francisco in the past. It also showed how we as individuals can turn a negative situation into a positive one AND be proud. I am SO proud of all of you. Every one of you needs to pat yourself on the back (or where ever you want) and say ‘Great Job!’

“Second, being a photographer I am inspired by the beautiful Black and white photographs. They really add a diminsion to the feeling of the walk and the look of the shirts. Congratulation to the LIFE team and everyone who has benefited from this amazing organization.” – Jeff

I just didn’t think I was ready to wear the Shirt. I put it away deep in my closet so no one would see it. But once I arrived at the Vigil, my fears went away. I found Bob and he gave me a XL. I’m a small guy but it felt good on me. Afterwards I wore it at the Alibi. .”

“With each step I remembered each of my many friends who died and I celebrated them. I also celebrated the many POZ men around me who are my family.” – Micheal

“Walking I felt this incredible energy. Its been years since I last stood up. Amidst this crowd I felt the emergence of new leadership. And I am ready to stand with them. Jim & Joe, we are with you. Thanks!”

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