Aug 252012
 

It’s only a month away from the AIDS Walk here in Portland. A few months ago, I wrote a post about my friend Alazar who is an amazing kid trying to raise money for the Cascade AIDS Project. He asked me to send out a reminder that there’s still time to donate to the wonderful cause.  Here is the interview I did with this amazing kid!

Lisa: Tell me a little bit about yourself Alazar.

Alazar: My name is Alazar Manning and I’m 11 years old. I like all the normal kids’ stuff,
from playing basket to riding bikes or my scooter! My favorite subjects in school are math and science. I like it when my Dad and I read together too! My favorite things to read about right now are dragon books.

Lisa: So tell me a little bit about your Cascade AIDS Fundraising efforts.

Alazar: Well it started 4 years ago when a close family friend became infected with HIV. The goal of my first walk was to raise $200 but I ended up raising $800. I was a little discouraged because things didn’t turn out like I planned, but my Dad says we don’t give up. The next year I had my own team, the A-Team, and my goal was to raise $1,000 but I raised $2,100 and I was the top Youth Fundraiser. And last year, my goal was to raise $9,000 and I raised $9,100 dollars and was the top fundraiser for both youth and adults – - thanks to the generosity of so many people!

Lisa: Tell me about your blog and why you have it.

Alazar: My blog site is: The A-Team Fund.

I decided last year that I wanted to raise awareness that HIV is spreading almost 8 times faster in the black community than the white community, and it is totally preventable. My motto for the blog is to: Be Smart. Get Tested. Have Safe Behaviors! I found that most adults don’t want to talk about HIV, especially with a kid like me, because they think I don’t know enough. I have all the facts, but just not all the life experiences yet!

So my blog is a way of communicating with a larger audience about HIV. Last year I had over 4,000 blog hits. And this year so far, I’ve had over 700 hits and we are still 5 months away from the Walk! This year too, I have had visitors from other countries read my blog, and that’s way cool!

Lisa: What are your goals for this year?

Alazar: I have three goals this year… 1) Raise $10,000 2) Continue to raise awareness from my blog that HIV is totally preventable and 3) Raise more money than my friend and the Executive Director of CAP!!

Way to go Alazar! I’m so proud of you. Don’t forget that the AIDS walk is on September 23, 2012. Check your local area if you want to walk, too.

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May 022012
 

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I am so proud of my friend Alazar.  Last year he raised over $9,000 for the Cascade AIDS Project fundraiser here in Portland and he made the newspapers! The best part? He’s only 11 years old. (He’s in the photos above!) Alazar is someone I am proud to call a friend. He’s an inspiring little man that has amazing aspirations and I want to help as much as I can.

Alazar was born in Ethiopian and came to the US a few years ago, where he was adopted by a dear friend. The transformation of Alazar was day and night. He went from a scared, quiet boy to a vibrant, energetic kid who loves sports and art. I attribute this to the healthy, happy, nourishing home his new dad created for him and the art therapy our friend Star did with him for years.

Fast forward a few years later and Alazar has been on a crusade to raise money for AIDS charities and to raise awareness. You can check out his blog here.

Recently Alazar let me practice my novice photography skills and we hung out in Laurelhurst Park on a gorgeous day. We took tons of photos of him and his dad too.

He writes his own blog, he’s trying to get corporate sponsors, and has even contacted celebrities for support (and heard back from some!). I try to support Alazar as much as I can when he’s fundraising and recently bought some of his art for his fundraising. Health in every way is important to me and if I can help a good cause, I’ll do it!

PLEASE check out his website and if you’re going to donate to any causes this year, consider the Cascade AIDS Project! Alazar and I thank you for your generosity!

{Donate Here}

His motto is:  “Be Safe. Get Tested.  Have Safe Behaviors.”

 

(Pictures above of Jacqueline Yerby, Vice President, Board of Directors, Cascade AIDS Project and Alazar Manning used with permission.)

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