ARCADIA - This year's Ryan White Aids Walk at Hamilton Heights High School raised more than $2,200 for the Ryan White Scholarship Fund.
Students and staff pay $1 to walk around the high school track during one class period in White's honor.
"Money raised from the walk continues to help preserve White's legacy 'Help me beat the odds and together let's educate and save the children of tomorrow,' while raising funds for the scholarship fund created in his memory in 1991," said Kim Kaiser, Hamilton Heights Business teacher. Kaiser has served as the treasurer of the fund since 2001. "To date, the Ryan White Scholarship Fund has awarded $55,200 in scholarships."
White became a poster child for HIV/AIDS in the United States after being expelled from his Kokomo, Indiana middle school in 1985 because of his infection.
A hemophiliac, White became infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment. He lost his battle to the disease in April 1990, one month prior to his high school graduation.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of his first day at Hamilton Heights High School.
Lori Hippensteel, High School Media Specialist and Student Government Advisor, said the high school Student Government Organization has been playing host to the Ryan White Fundraiser for more than 20 years.
She credits the success of this year's walk to a team effort between Jon Kirschner, Eric Fisher and the entire high school faculty, staff and student body.
"This event begins with excitement and involvement from the student body to work together to do our part to support this effort," said senior Lexi Branham, Student Government President.
Junior Sarah Mariotti said this walk and the money it raises says a lot about our school.
"I'm really proud of our school," she said.
"This walk, in part, is to remind us what his [Ryan White] life stood for and what he went through at this age," said freshmen Isaac Wilson and Austin Goodpasture. "Hamilton Heights treated him well and the opportunity to enjoy his high school experience despite his disease."
The Ryan White Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for deserving seniors who plan to pursue a degree in the fields of health, education and/or medicine.
Money for the Ryan White Scholarship Fund are generated through the annual AIDS walk fundraiser and private donations. Donations can be mailed to: the Ryan White Scholarship Fund. P.O. Box 379, Arcadia, IN 46030, Attn: Kim Kaiser.