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Angeles County | Community News File / Santa Monica

Men Ends Walk Across U.S. to Raise AIDS Awareness

October 02, 1998

A 33-year-old Connecticut man who spent four months walking across the country to raise awareness about children with AIDS finished his journey Thursday at the Santa Monica Pier.

Jaden Starbuck, a former shopping mall security guard, started his trip June 1 in his hometown of Stamford, Conn., after getting the idea for the walk after hearing about other causes on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," he said Thursday.

Starbuck walked mostly along state highways on a central route across country, carrying maps, clothing, books and water in a backpack emblazoned with the slogan "Walk for Life." His first pair of athletic shoes wore out in Lawrence, Kan., he said, but he accepted only two car rides--one to get over the Rockies, and one outside Las Vegas, when he was running short of money and needed to speed up the journey.

Starbuck said he has probably only raised about $1,500 in donations to children's AIDS charities, but that he has helped educate dozens of people to the plight of children with AIDS.

"A lot of people now think the war [against AIDS] is over, but I think children now are the casualties," Starbuck said.

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