Klett chairs state’s largest AIDS benefit

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MILWAUKEE — Stephanie Klett of Beloit has been named by the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin as the organization’s honorary chair of the 24th annual AIDS Walk Wisconsin.

The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 5.

Currently serving as the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Klett has been an AIDS advocate for 25 years and is best known as the longtime Emmy-award winning host of the Discover Wisconsin TV program.

A former Miss Wisconsin, Klett included her “Attitude on AIDS” campaign as part of her platform and reached more than 53,000 teens during 1992-93 with messages designed to separate HIV/AIDS myths from facts. Additionally, through her Spotlight on Wisconsin fundraisers, Klett has helped raise more than $125,000 for charities including the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, producer of AIDS Walk Wisconsin.

“We have 72 gorgeous counties in this state, and I count myself lucky to have traveled to all of them," Klett said. "However, it’s important that everyone know that HIV has been reported in every single Wisconsin county. Thousands of people live with HIV in Wisconsin, including mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, co-workers, grandparents and friends. There is no better or more important time for everyone to be a part of AIDS Walk Wisconsin.

“AIDS Walk Wisconsin is a way that every person, whether by walking or sponsoring a walker, can help their neighbor and strengthen the fight against AIDS in our state,” Klett continued. “I encourage everyone to register, raise pledges and join me for this great event.”

AIDS Walk Wisconsin is the state’s largest AIDS fundraiser having raised $11.1 million during the past 23 years. New in 2013, AIDS Walk Wisconsin is adding a 5K run to the day’s activities, giving interested participants a new way to support the fight against AIDS.

Proceeds from AIDS Walk Wisconsin stay in the state to support HIV prevention, care and treatment services including the ARCW Medical Center, the largest provider of HIV medical, dental and mental health care in Wisconsin.

Klett joins a long list of distinguished leaders who have chaired AIDS Walk Wisconsin including Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun, Green Bay Packer Clay Matthews, music artist Bon Iver, actor Danny Glover, actress Bette Midler, and Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, among others.

In Wisconsin, 6,549 people have been diagnosed with HIV. Additionally, there are an estimated 1,700 people in Wisconsin who have HIV but do not know it because they have not been tested.

AIDS Walk Wisconsin will take place Oct. 5 at the Summerfest Grounds in Milwaukee. For more information about AIDS Walk Wisconsin, to register, or to inquire about additional corporate sponsorship opportunities, visit www.aidswalkwis.org or call 800-348-WALK (9255).

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