Deltas press AIDS awareness

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Suffolk Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted an illumination service for World AIDS Day on Thursday night at the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum.

“We wanted to do something to make a statement,” said Lynn Spruill, event co-chair.

More than 20 people attended to honor those who have lost their lives to AIDS or are currently battling the disease. The ceremony was a part of the chapter’s annual theme, Act Against AIDS: From A to Z (AIDS Deaths to Zero), which is intended to increase awareness and to minimize disease rates in the area.

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“We are hoping we can get the word out in the community,” said Gayle Spencer-Ridley, president of the Suffolk Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. “We are directing people to different agencies where they can get help.”

During the event, various chapter members gave remarks and led a prayer for those fighting the disease. At one point, attendees lit penlights, flashlights and cellphone lights for the illumination service.

The chapter also had pamphlets and contact information for local organizations specializing in AIDS awareness programs. Additionally, the women collected toiletry donations for the Tidewater AIDS Crisis Taskforce.

The illumination service is one of many community programs the Delta Sigma Theta chapter holds. For Thanksgiving, the organization gathered baskets for the needy. For Christmas, they plan to offer gift cards to the less fortunate for holiday shopping.