Waking Tigers, Fighting TB: Atlanta's World TB Day Events
In Atlanta, Georgia we’ve formed quite the TB Team. We’re a diverse coalition; passionate enough to organize a massive crowd in support of TB and rowdy enough to wake sleeping tigers. No, really! This past Saturday, all these great groups gathered at the Atlanta Zoo – RESULTS, the National Tuberculosis Controllers Association, Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory University, the American Lung Association, Cobb County Health Department, Fulton County Health Department, and the Center for Disease and Control – to put on the 5th Annual TB Awareness walk.
This event did have its hiccups as any major event would. Even with all of our preparations and years of experience, we could not have anticipated that the city of Atlanta had accidently issued two permits, for two events, for the same date and time! On top of that, in the mist of confusion, the stage was never delivered.
But, we were here to build community partnerships and to fight TB. We all kept positive attitudes and forged onward. After all, we did have 1,507 registered participants for our event. It appeared to be the largest turn out in our five year history!
The crowd was really energized and the band Red Rocket Deluxe kicked off our morning with a head-banging set of southern-hard rock music, which was nicely followed by pop sensation Jason Joines. After the music ended several informative guest speakers addressed the crowd including, Dr. Ken Castro from the CDC, a TB patient sharing his story, and longtime RESULTS partner Steve Valk who gave a speech about the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
After a warm-up exercise, “TB walkers, WALK!” echoed through our powerful sound system and the walk began.
Red Rocket Deluxe returned to the stage for a second set during the walk. As the walkers were crossing the finish line Dave Daniels, former Micro-credit Summit intern, took to the stage with his band the PTA. During his set he gave an endorsement to RESULTS and told the crowd to visit the RESULTS table for more information on advocacy, and to receive a free copy of his CD. Thanks, Dave, we love you!
All morning RESULTS partners were in action handing out information on tuberculosis and signing people up to get more information about RESULTS. Meanwhile, passionate advocate/ RESULTS partner Misty Novitch, canvassed the crowd with her video camera. She collected several video interviews about tuberculosis, which we intend to edit and compile for future use. Here’s one that’s up already!
The 5th Annual TB Awareness Event was a success. Oh, and about those sleeping tigers… the Red Rocket Deluxe woke up them up during their first set! Rise and shine! Hopefully the animals understood we were there for a good cause. Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Tiger!