San Diego AIDS Walk & Run, FR&WSD Member’s Bash DOUBLE-HEADER SUNDAY

October 6, 2017

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By John Lockhart

Looking for a newly certified oddball run/walk course for your record books? The San Diego AIDS Run & Walk Sunday, October 1, 2017 provided a certified course option for club members.   Looking for a super-cool Sunday afternoon in-the-moment party place? For sure, the club’s every-year membership blast held at Hotel Indigo for new and renewing members.

Cruise on, bloggers for race results and party play!

15 club runners and supporters took to the new 3.9 course, and 5 walkers hit the 3.3-miler to raise money to fight AIDS in the 28th year of the San Diego AIDS Walk/Run. Club donors, so far, have contributed $2,225  according to Adrienne Schlang, M.D., one of  club’s 2017 AIDS Walk/Run co-chairs.  Total contributions for the entire event are expected to reach $400,000 from approximately 5,000 participants, volunteers and donors.


Club runners ran off with top awards. Cory Sager captured third overall, at 25:57.

Winning division first places: Ruben Villegas and Jerry Buckley, respectively. And seven FR&WSD placed among the top 25. Congratulations to all for a great showing!

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Ken Pahkim, Membership co-chair planned the in-the-moment membership party at the Indigo Hotel in the downtown Gaslamp Quarter.  Key to holding the event is this choice venue, Ken says, was his friendship with Benita Stevens, the Indigo Hotel Director of Sales & Marketing. Ken and volunteers, Brian, Luis, Matt. Marc and Shawn, stepped up to “the work of the day of” handling memberships, renewals, goodie-bag and raffle tickets for prizes, traffic flow including dogs, and making it all work and look easy.  Incidentally, Benita has participated in our very own Pride 5K the last two years.


What a spot!—Level Nine, the top floor, of the Indigo with its outdoor wrap-around terraces, offers sweeping views from east, south and west starting with the San Diego Public Library Dome, then PetCo Park at center stage, and finishing in the west with peek-a-boo glimpses of San Diego Bay, North Island and Pt. Loma.

Hotel Indigo is dog friendly:  they stay in rooms with their owners and get frequent doggie treats. And this Sunday afternoon, Best Friends attended the party, too.


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Left to right

Betty and Wilma, of Chihuahua persuasion, accompany Dan Plitnik

Scarlett and Zhivago, of Royal descent, King Charles Spaniels, make their entrance with Todd Bell

Weimar trio, Halley, Attie and Cody entering the party room with Curt Mack


On the terraces, rattan sofas and chairs with comfy cushions were great for schmoozing up the crowd while sampling fruit-infused iced tea, lemonade and reduced-price +21 drinks, before the buffet.

What a buffet!—Pretzel hot dogs, Margarita pizza, Hawaiian Sliders, salads, fruit and carrot cake. As icon Mae West might have put it: “Too much of a good thing is something wonderful.”

Dave Hallen and Ken emceed a brief program. Benita Stevens, also announced that Hotel Indigo now has a year-round discount program for club members, their families, including dogs, and friends. Jerry Buckley reported that 12 club members had signed up to attend the 2018 Gay Games, and raffle winters claimed their prizes from Hotel Indigo and Fix Body Group, who also offer members 20% discount off their services.  


Cruising the terraces, a reporter met at-the-event new members Jimmy Gamal, a half and full marathon vet, who hails from Houston and Curt Mack, who runs 6-8- mile jaunt and lived in Chicago until coming to San Diego.

When asked for a one-liner on the July Pride Run, race director, Ricky Fonseca, replied, “Growing Strong.”

First through the door @ 4:02 PM, Julie Lukey, “I’m an on-time person, “ is a half marathoner, runs regular 4-5 mile gulps, and member for the past 3-5 years, renewed, saying that she knew a good time awaited. For sure, for all!

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