thanks go to Nursing faculty member Melodie Hicks for her role in
organizing Vanier's participation in this important march. Melodie
was interviewed and her comments published in The Gazette of Monday,
September 22, 2003. Below are 2 photos taken on that day, followed
by the story that appeared in The
Echo Online, Vanier's online student newspaper.
Vanier Walks for Aids
The 11th annual
"Ça Marche" march for Aids took place on
September 21st with an estimate of 30 Vanier students and
teachers participating. Ottawa's Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles
Duceppe, who has been attending the event every year, shook
some hands and answered why such an event is important. "We
have to support organisations that are against Aids,"
Melodie Hicks, Nursing
teacher at Vanier, organized the walk for her students and encouraged
others to join.
"It's about health
prevention and getting the word out," said Hicks, who has been
taking part in the event since its very beginning. Nonetheless,
it was a first for the students, who were enthusiastic early Sunday
"It's like we're
walking for those who can't walk," explained Delores Hall,
when asked about the meaning of the walk. The 36-year-old first-year
Nursing student was not alone in speaking her mind.
"I like to help
people and there are things to be done," claimed Rodel Tejada,
one of the eight first-year male nursing students at Vanier. Tejada
also stated that losing a relative to HIV is another reason for
him to stride.
Vanier raised a total
of $305 in donations. In addition, the Vanier College Bookstore
donated hats to the students that marched.
Other than Vanier, Coronation
Elementary School was amongst others who participated in the event.
Pamela Price, Katherine Simons, Debbie Michakis, Giovanna Maimone,
all of whom are teachers at Coronation, mentioned that it was the
school's third year in walking the 7km.
"It's the kids'
favourite march," stated Pamela Price. With their blue and
white T-shirts and their bright smiles; the students did seem to
said 12-year-old Nivitha J. "We know what AIDS is and we know
it's out there," he added.
Mayor Gérald Tremblay
was also at the march. He asked the crowd to raise their hands for
a moment of silence a few minutes before the demonstration.