Contact: Peggy Weil, Advocacy Coordinator - 828-575-3787 (cell)

(Note:  For print quality photo of Miss North Carolina International, please contact Peggy Weil, peggyweil@wncap.org
Asheville, NC - Asheville City Council will proclaim support for the Annual Asheville AIDS Awareness Walk at their October 26th City Council meeting. Miss North Carolina International, Kristian Tobias, will accept the proclamation on behalf of Western North Carolina AIDS Project.  The AIDS Awareness Walk will take place at 11a.m. on Saturday, November 6th in downtown Asheville.
“We greatly appreciate the support of Mayor Terry Bellamy and City Council in our efforts to address the AIDS epidemic and the stigma that surrounds it here in Western North Carolina.” says Ron Curran, Executive Director of Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP).  Despite advances in life-sustaining medical treatment, there is no cure for AIDS and the epidemic continues.   According to the CDC, there are over 56,000 new infections each year.
Kristian Tobias is spending her year as Miss North Carolina International advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness and education. “My passion for HIV/AIDS developed after an inspiring trip to Kenya four years ago. Now, as Miss North Carolina International, this is the perfect time to bring HIV/AIDS back in the forefront,” says Miss Tobias. In 2007, teen girls represented 40% of AIDS cases reported among 13 to 19 year olds in the United States.  
Miss Tobias is a graduate of Wake Forest University where she was a member of the Varsity Cheerleading squad, Delta Delta Delta sorority, and the Wake Forest Gospel Choir.  Currently, she is pursuing her Master's degree in Healthcare Administration at Winston Salem State University, and is the Board Co-chair for Positive Wellness Alliance, an HIV/AIDS non-profit agency based out of Lexington, North Carolina.  Kristian Tobias is proud to be the first black Miss North Carolina International.
While in Asheville, Miss Tobias will be meeting with local teens and health advocates as well as appearing at the City Council meeting to promote the Walk. “We are very excited to have Miss Tobias come to Asheville to encourage participation in the Asheville AIDS Awareness Walk. She is an enthusiastic ambassador for HIV/AIDS awareness and education with a special interest in reaching young women,” says Peggy Weil, WNCAP Advocacy Coordinator. 
The Asheville AIDS Awareness Walk is hosted by the Western North Carolina AIDS Project in partnership with over thirty-five community-based organizations, non-profits, churches and businesses on Saturday, November 6th. Walkers will gather at 11am in front of The Grove House at 11 Grove Street in downtown Asheville and proceed up Patton Avenue to the Vance Monument where Womansong of Asheville will perform. Scheduled speakers include County Commissioner David Gantt, AIDS Advocate Joy Oliver, and Reverend Brian Combs of the Haywood Street Congregation.
In the spirit of this year’s theme of Unity and Hope, Asheville citizens are encouraged to come together to show their support for those living with HIV & AIDS and to remember the 25 million lives lost worldwide.
Western North Carolina AIDS Project provides client services, prevention education and outreach to men, women and youth in 18 counties of Western North Carolina. For more information about services and the upcoming AIDS Walk please go to http://www.wncap.org/.
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project • 554 Fairview Rd. • Asheville, NC 28803
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