Humber Nursing Society Team

We are proud to have the Humber Nursing society as part of our In The Spotlight Feature. The team is led by their passionate leader Colin. Colin noticed that there was a lack of representation from Nursing Student Groups at the AIDS Walk, and wanted to “set about putting this right, especially since social justice is a requirement for nursing students.”

Raising the awareness about HIV and AIDS is why the team takes part in the AIDS WALK, “the number of people living with HIV is increasing across the country, every 3 hours, a person is infected with HIV.” By Supporting ACT “we know we are making a difference in the lives of many affected by HIV and AIDS”

We wish them much success at this years AIDS Walk!

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Team Humber Nursing Society in 2015

Team “Teddy Bear”

It is not hard to miss this team on AIDS Walk route with their teddy bears in hand, why the name Teddy Bear? It is in memory of team leader Shelia’s late brother, Patrick, whom she describes as a “handsome gay bear.”  Shelia also lost another brother to AIDS in 1990, Albert, ACT was an essential resource for both of her brothers.

We want to wish Sheila and her team teddy bear continued success! We will be cheering for the team and their teddy bears on the walk this year!

Team Teddy Bear Nursing Society in 2015

Team Oh! You Mean Eddy

Team “Oh! You mean Eddy” is a team led by a lightsaber wielding, 8 yr old, Issac, his dad, Phil, and friend Amy. Their team name pays homage to Phil’s father, from a joke he would tell Phil when he was a child.
It was Issac’s decision to form his own team for the AIDS Walk, in honour of his late grandfather who passed away from AIDS in 1994. Even though Issac has never met his Grandfather, he walks to help raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.
Issac is now a 3 year veteran to the walk, when asked why he feels it is important to see funds raised for the Scotiabank AIDS Walk Toronto, his reply: “It’s as simple as this…It’s the RIGHT thing to do, and since we CAN, we DO! It’s just a very important and worthy cause.” It really is as simple as Issac says, join the walk, get a team, start fundraising, give back and have fun while doing it. We wish Issac and Team OH! You mean Eddy, light years of success this year!
Isaac and Phil, from Team Oh! You Mean Eddy in 2015

Team Smash’s Army

Team “Smash’s Army” is a team led by Paula and her daughter Ashley. Smash is a sentimental term to Ashley, a nickname Paula had coined for Ashley since she was 2 years old. Ashley has drafted her friends and family to help build her ‘army.’ Their support and strength has helped Ashley fight the battle against the stigma that is often associated with HIV and AIDS. Smash’s Army has also delivered results: they helped Ashley raise $825.00! Walking by the AIDS memorial, in Barbara Hall Park, was an emotional moment for Paula and Ashley. Ashley’s grandfather, who also participated in the Walk, shared stories of the memories he had of friends that have died of AIDS. It was a special bonding moment for the family and a memory they cherish.
Team Smash’s Army in 2015

Team Scotiabank

Participating in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life Toronto can be a team affair, and one team who comes back year after year is Team Scotiabank! Scotiabank has been the title sponsor of the AIDS Walk since 2008, but many members of Team Scotiabank have been walking for years before that. With a history of high participation, Team Scotiabank consistently leads the way as one of the top corporate teams at the AIDS Walk.

Team Scotiabank raised $11,976.77 last year, and thanks to the teams matching program, they were able to donate $23,953.54 to the AIDS Committee of Toronto. Over the past four years, Team Scotiabank has raised over $100,000.00 in support of the AIDS Walk.

When asked how their team has been able to raise such an impressive amount over the years Team Scotiabank responded with a few Tips & Tricks for others!

  • Use your personal networks. Ask everyone you know for any amount, there is no such thing as too little.
  • Use social media. Connect through Facebook, Twitter and any other social media platforms you may use. Use the hashtag #AIDSWalkTO to connect to other walkers.

Comprised of Scotiabank employees, as well as their family and friends, this diverse team exemplifies how this event can be an amazing opportunity for colleagues to come together and give back to their community!

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Team Scotiabank in 2014 Team Scotiabank in 2015

The Body Shop Canada

Another team who has participated year after year is The Body Shop Canada! The Body Shop Canada team is traditionally comprised of shop staff from up to 20 shops in Toronto.  In addition many staff members from The Body Shop Canada head office in Toronto also join and walk. The Body Shop Canada walkers often bring their spouses, children and dogs! The Body Shop Canada team has raised over $100,000.00 since the year 2000! We asked The Body Shop Canada a couple of questions:

How does your team fundraise?

Our team fundraises through direct human contact with friends and family but also, increasingly on social media. We encourage all walkers to post to their accounts and keep updating, making sure to use the hashtag #AIDSWalkTO.

What fundraising tips would you like to give to other teams?

  • Have your pledge sheet with you when you ask for a pledge so you can wrap it up right there. Carry it always.
  • If someone says they will support you but then forgets – don’t let it go by. Gently remind them and stress how important their donation is.

What does the Walk mean to you?

The Walk symbolizes that the HIV and AIDS problem is not over, despite great strides in medicine to help keep it at bay. It’s important to keep awareness front and centre as a message to people to have safe sex. It’s important to support those who have been exposed to the virus to get back on track and lead happy productive lives.


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Team The Body Shop in 2014 Team The Body Shop in 2015


Last year was the first time Team HamSTARS walked as a team, and they managed to raise $3,639.77, with only 7 team members! We wanted to find out a little bit more about Team HamSTARS, so we asked Team Captain Maggie a couple of questions.

Why does your team walk in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life?

We’ve always supported the work of ACT, and some of us have been on other fundraising teams in the past. Last year when someone very close to us was unexpectedly hospitalized due to AIDS, it brought home to us the real value of ACT’s services. We wanted to do what we could to support their work and to show our appreciation for all of the help.

Is there a story behind your team name?

It’s a top secret inside joke, but received lots of giggles from fellow walkers last year.

Who walks in your team?

We’re a mixture of family, close friends and coworkers.

How does your team fundraise, and do you have any tips for other teams?

Nagging, encouraging, explaining and emailing! When it comes to fundraising, be persistent. Some friends are happy to donate, but forget because they’re busy, gentle friendly reminders now and again are helpful. It’s also great to get a tad competitive. Our team likes to tease each other about who’s in the lead, we all want to keep our eye on the end goal, but a little friendly competition never hurt!

Do you have a favourite memory from the walk?

The most poignant memory was walking through the memorial and taking a quiet moment to reflect on those we have lost and those who are still fighting. At the time of the walk we were witnessing the toll AIDS was taking on our loved one and the people around them. What we were going through was awful but thanks to the enormous medical/scientific advances since the 80s, we were able to console ourselves with the knowledge that it was going to get better. We are so extremely grateful to all the activists and supporters who have worked so hard to raise funds and awareness over the past few decades. Their hard work allowed our loved one to survive. The only way we can say thank you is to try to follow in their footsteps.

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Team HamSTARS in 2014 Team HamSTARS in 2015

Team Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas

Comprised of the company owner, regional managers, cinema managers and assistants & staff members from the 5 GTA locations, accompanied by friends and well-wishers, Team Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas has participated in the Walk since 2002. Last year the team was able to raise over $18,000, adding to the over $177,000 the team has raised since they first started participating in the Walk.

We were curious how Team Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas was able to raise the funds to give them their top fundraising team title, so we went straight to the source and asked their team captain, Gulshan. He told us that the team raises money in a variety of ways to help them exceed their goal.

Each walker raises funds via pledges from family, friends and business contacts. In addition, cinema managers organize bake-sales, barbecues, ribbon sales, silent auctions, movie screenings and games involving the customers. Gulshan suggests that other teams get a head start on fundraising and organize multiple pathways to raise funds and public awareness about the AIDS Walk.

We asked Gulshan a couple of other questions to find out more about Team Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas

Why does your team walk in the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life

Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas members are very impressed with the positive role ACT plays in the prevention, research, and education of people living with and affected by HIV. It is a very worthy community cause, therefore Rainbow has made this fund raising effort one of the key charitable events we support every year.

What has been your favourite AIDS Walk memory?

Nearly a decade and a half of participation in these fun-filled events has produced many, many rich memories of the camaraderie, entertainment, information and colourful characters involved. It is difficult to single out such a memory as each year the event promises new and more exciting moments yet to unfold.

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Team Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas in 2014 Team Rainbow and Carlton Cinemas in 2015