A group of 40 Vanier students took part in this year's "Ca Marche" walk to heighten public awareness of AIDS. The group was clearly visible with their Vanier banner and were seen on the CTV National News. Over $300 was raised and the first 12 students received baseball caps courtesy of the Bookstore.

Special 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
By: Ali Mansouri

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," he stated.

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 morning.

"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 enjoy themselves.

"It's fun," 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.