National AIDS Day was celebrated in a number of ways Sunday. Our Alexa Green shows us how the Southern Tier AIDS Program is using creativity and some friendly competition to bring awareness to their cause.
BINGHAMTON N.Y. -- On Sunday evening, it was all about the hair. More than 800 people attended the third annual Hair Warz. The fantasy hair competition was held to honor World AIDS Day.
"It brings attention by bringing us together and doing something fun. But also making us realize this is for something important as well," said Katherine Galli, a stylist at Patrick J Cleary Designs.
Local hair salons battled it out by creating over the top hair dos, each with a theme. The Southern Tier AIDS Program organized the event and say it's about more than just a friendly competition.
"It's really about awareness, showing people what we do and the fact that what we do is contributing to the fact that there's a decrease in HIV positive cases," said Cindy Rotella, Southern Tier AIDS Program Coordinator
With 20 local salons participating, they say the event allows them to explore their creativity and show off exactly what they can do.
"We don't get to do stuff like this a lot. You get to, once in a while, in the salon working. You get some fun hair, but you don't get to do these crazy extravagant things all the time. It's wild and bizarre and fun and doesn't happen often," Galli added.
Although the hair took center stage, the Southern Tier AIDS Program hopes the event will shine a light on the severity of HIV/AIDS.
"People still have the disease. It's still coming up. People are still getting newly diagnosed. So with prevention and with funding, we have to help prevent more people from being diagnosed from HIV," said Candace Phelan, Southern Tier AIDS Program Coordinator.
And with the right prevention and treatment, organizers say they're on their way towards winning the fight.
All of the money raised at the event will benefit the Southern Tier Aids Program. Several awards were also given out following the competition.
Ms. Judy Hair Designs took home first place.