Happening in Kansas City
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We’re getting closer to spring, and I couldn’t be more excited! AIDS Walk Kansas City 2015 will soon be upon us! For this month’s column, I interviewed Josh Strodtman of AIDS Walk, which has its big event this year on Saturday, April 25. Not only is he dedicated to this great organization, but he also is involved with Mid-America Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, which puts LGBT business people in touch with each other. This man is busy, so I was thrilled when he took some time out of his hectic schedule to answer some questions!
1. I understand that you’re with AIDS Walk Kansas City. How long have you been involved?
I have been involved with AIDS Walk for 12 years now. I started out as a volunteer working in the registration tent. In 2005, I graduated from UMKC and began working with Michael Lintecum. Since then, I have been serving as the associate producer of AIDS Walk Kansas City.
2. What brought you to work with this organization?
I volunteered on the Missouri “No on 2” campaign [for the constitutional amendment that prohibited recognition of same-sex marriages> in 2004, and that is where I met Michael Lintecum, Alison Ball and a number of fun people. I used to go in to the campaign and help stuff envelopes, answer calls and deliver flyers door to door. I then became friends with a few steering committee members of AIDS Walk or regular volunteers of the Walk. My first year, I had a friend ask me to help out. That same friend used to be Truman the Tiger at Mizzou (whom I met in college), and he got permission from the university to be at the Walk that year. I served as his handler my first year and then moved over to registration the following year. It was really a lot of fun!
3. The AIDS Walk Open Mini Golf Pub Crawl is March 7. What can people expect from this year’s event?
More bars, more fun and more craziness! This year, we have 12 bars participating, which is the most we’ve ever had. If you haven’t participated before, you need to grab three friends and sign up today. The AIDS Walk Open is quite honestly one of the most entertaining events in town!
4. The money raised by AIDS Walk Kansas City is kept in the K.C. community. How are the funds used?
Eighty percent of the funds raised by AIDS Walk go to support our four major AIDS service organizations: Kansas City CARE Clinic, Hope Care Center, Good Samaritan Project and SAVE Inc. These organizations provide free HIV testing, case management, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention efforts, medical care, housing, and skilled nursing care to the over 4,700 women, men and children living with HIV/AIDS in Kansas City. In addition, 20 percent of the funds raised go to support the Community Fund, which distributes money via a grant process to other organizations that have programs dedicated to HIV/AIDS.
5. The Mosaic Project is in its 17th year. (This AIDS awareness art project, featuring glazed ceramic tiles made by youth and other volunteers, is set for April 3.) What inspired its creation?
Eighteen years ago, a young Shawnee Mission East art student wanted to support AIDS Walk. After much brainstorming between this student, Michael Lintecum, and now Mosaic chair Greg Hugeback, the idea of Mosaic was born.
6. What effect does the Mosaic Project have on the youth who are involved?
In many ways, Mosaic may be the only HIV/AIDS educational opportunity that many students have in middle and high school. Mosaic reaches middle and high school students and volunteers through art by giving each student a chance to share their individual interpretation of what a world without AIDS would look like. Mosaic is a great tool to get students thinking about HIV-- how it’s transmitted, prevention methods, and what they can do to help spread this message to their peers. I think Mosaic can help mold our future HIV/AIDS activists.
7. The Mosaic Project’s theme this year is “A World Without AIDS.” What must the community do to work toward the elimination of AIDS in Kansas City?
It’s all about education, prevention, and eliminating the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. The good news is that Kansas City’s AIDS service organizations collaborate and work well together toward a common goal. These efforts have helped K.C. lead the way in many national statistics when it comes to getting those newly infected in care, keeping them in care and suppressing viral loads. If we continue our educational, prevention and stigma-elimination efforts, we will one day know a Kansas City without HIV/AIDS.
8. Why should people who aren’t usually involved become active with AIDS Walk Kansas City?
There are so many reasons that people should be involved. By getting involved, you are doing the right thing. By getting involved, you help the 4,700 women, men and children living with HIV/AIDS in our city. By getting involved, you help spread the message of prevention and empowerment. But by getting involved, you also become part of a great and loving family—the AIDS Walk Family.
9. You’re also involved in the Mid-America Gay &
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
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Stay safe and get tested!
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Is there any cost?
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For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
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Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.