Trail to a Cure, Inc. exceeds goal; dissolves organization

Trail to a Cure, Inc. was founded in 2007 and recently voted to cease operations in 2017 after the annual Ride/Walk/Run, as we’ve discussed in earlier posts. We set a stretch goal to bring our 10-year total raised to $120,000.

We are pleased to announce that, thanks to our event participants, volunteers, and sponsors, we exceeded this goal.

We raised and donated to our beneficiary organizations a total of $120,740.29.

Checks are on their way to amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research; the University of Missouri’s Bond Life Sciences Center virologists who are working on HIV/AIDS research; and to Spectrum Healthcare (formerly Rain), which provides services to those living with HIV/AIDS in Central Missouri.

We are filing the final paperwork with the state and federal governments to formally terminate our organizational existence effective June 14, 2017.

Thank you to all of our community for your support in this important work over the last 10 years.

We strongly encourage you to support amfAR, MU/Bond LSC, and Spectrum Healthcare in their ongoing work, and we also invite you to support The Center Project, which has proven to be a beneficial partner organization to TTAC over the years.

Trail to a Cure’s Board



Trail to a Cure, Inc. announces end of organizational operations effective June 30; Ride/Walk/Run in May is ON.

A message from Trail to a Cure, Inc.

Trail to a Cure began organizing in 2007 through the efforts of a small group of dedicated volunteers who saw a need in our community for HIV/AIDS research, education, and social-service support. TTAC was incorporated and obtained 501(c)(3) nonprofit status as “Trail to a Cure, Inc.” shortly thereafter. TTAC is a 100% volunteer organization with no paid staff. It is managed by a board of nine, four of whom have been with TTAC since the first year.

Our primary purpose as a not-for-profit organization is to raise funds to fight HIV/AIDS through education, research, and direct support services, primarily through our annual Trail to a Cure Ride/Walk/Run event, which was first held in 2008.

We are proud of our achievements.

  • Our efforts and those of our event participants have helped place a significant number of future scientists and doctors in local research labs as undergraduates working with virologists studying various aspects of HIV/AIDS.
  • Our efforts have helped close financial gaps faced by persons living with HIV/AIDS in central Missouri when other funding sources have run out.
  • We have increased the amount of volunteerism, and we have educated the community about HIV/AIDS.

2017 will mark our 10th anniversary as an organization. Over those 10 years, we have raised approximately $106,000 — and we hope to increase that to $120,000 in this, our final year as an organization.

We would like to end our last year on a high note through increased event participation and fundraising efforts.

The 10th Annual Ride/Walk/Run is ON

We have a few events on the calendar, including the big Ride/Walk/Run event on May 6. Details about that event are available at

We are also hopeful that another entity or organization will choose to build on our work with a new event to replace the Ride/Walk/Run after 2017.

Our fiscal year ends on June 30, and it is our goal to complete all official TTAC business and meet our fundraising goal by that date.

TTAC Board

TTAC 2017 Ride/Walk/Run Registration Now Open

Mark Your Calendars!   Saturday, May 6, 2017


Truman says Register TODAY

Registration is now open for the the TENTH annual Trail to a Cure Ride/Walk/Run Event on the Katy Trail in Rocheport, MO!

Remember: advance registration is discounted!

Fundraising is also live, so event participants are STRONGLY encouraged to create fundraising pages via the Firstgiving site while registering.

Participants are cautioned to read the 2017 Event_Participant_Packet carefully.

And be sure to plan to attend the family friendly post-event celebration at the Rocheport Trailhead after the event for free live music, free food for event participants (also available for purchase by guests), a cash bar, raffle drawings, and a medaling ceremony for our runners.


5K runners hit the trail!

Follow us on Facebook and mark yourself as “going” to the Facebook event to make sure you don’t miss any announcements!


50-mile riders take off!

Help us build on the $106,000+ that we have raised in our first 9 years. And help support the work of our local beneficiary organizations as they FIGHT HIV/AIDS:

Trail to a Cure raises $106K+ for HIV/AIDS Research/Services

The Ride/Walk/Run event in May is TTAC’s major fundraiser for the year, but it’s far from our ONLY one. This year, we had a bonus fundraiser at Logboat Brewing. It was a hot one, but fun, and it added some more cash to our cause. Thanks also to Smokin’ Chick’s for being there!

Because of this late fundraiser, though, we’re a bit later than usual in making the awards of funds to our beneficiary organizations.

This year, we were able to provide $12,100 to our 3 beneficiary organizations. This means that in our first nine years, we’ve raised $106,100 to fight HIV/AIDS!  Not bad for an all-volunteer, grassroots organization, if we do say so ourselves.

Thank you to our sponsors, event participants and volunteers! It doesn’t happen without you.

Checks will be on their way to these great organizations shortly!

Rain will receive a check to help individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS in Rain’s central Missouri service area with unmet emergency needs in the categories of food, utilities, housing, medical services, final arrangements, and more.


Bond Life Science Center’s HIV/AIDS researchers (and TTAC event participants): Stefan Sarafianos, Ph.D.; Marc Johnson, Ph.D.; Donald Burke-Aguero, Ph.D.

MU’s Bond Life Sciences Center‘s HIV/AIDS researchers will be receiving a check to help put more enthusiastic undergraduate students into the labs with Bond’s crack researchers, exposing undergrads to HIV/AIDS research as active researchers alongside nationally known virologists before they move on to graduate or medical school. TTAC funds extend the number of research hours, and may help lead to better treatments or even a cure while also introducing young scientists to this great work!

amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, will also be receiving a check to help fund cutting-edge research at a national level.

TTAC Ride/Walk/Run 2017 planning is underway. Registration will be open very soon. Arment Enterprises has agreed to be our lead sponsor again next year!

Please plan to join us on the TRAIL TO A CURE–always the first Saturday in May!


TTAC 2016 Ride/Walk/Run is almost here!

Trail to a Cure

Register now to get the best deal!

Advance, online registration is $10 cheaper than walk-up registration on event day: Saturday, May 7.

Advance registration closes on May 5–that’s Thursday prior, not Friday prior–a change from past events.

To guarantee you get your first choice of t-shirt size, register by April 25.


New to our event?

Be sure to read the event information on our website thoroughly. Also read the registration page thoroughly, including the event participant packet and take a look at the route map*.


Have questions?

Post them on our blog or Facebook page or Tweet them to us and we’ll get you answers. You can even email us.

Don’t forget the best part of all!

To celebrate all of your hard work riding/walking/running and raising funds to fight HIV/AIDS, be sure to join us f0r the post-event celebration sponsored by Arment Enterprises. Food is provided to event participants. Guests may purchase food. Beverages are available for purchase–no outside beverages, please. The event includes a silent raffle, photos, and massages, along with other surprises. Winners of the timed running events will be honored with medals at this event.


Well-behaved dogs on leashes (like Truman) are welcome to participate in our event.

*Please be aware that our route distances are approximate due to limitation on where we can access the trail.

World AIDS Day/Week – One More Opportunity!

Greetings, TTAC’ers!

If you participated in any of this past week’s World AIDS Day activities, you know how moving and educational they have been. I’d venture to say it has been Columbia’s best World AIDS Day observance ever–at least in my 30 years here.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt was on display at Jesse Hall and Bond Life Sciences Center on the MU Campus. (Shoutout to Kevin, one of my departed friends, whose panel was included).

Two of TTAC’s founders (Liz Rettke and me) participated in an amazing panel discussion, “A Day in the Life of HIV,” along with MU’s chancellor, HIV/AIDS researchers, our friends at RAIN, city/county Health and the MU LGBTQ resource center, MU Student Health, and of course Greg Louganis. We hope to get to post a video of the panel on our social media channels, so watch for that!

There was a  Health Resource Fair and free HIV testing available.

The main event was Greg Louganis’ lecture: “Don’t Let HIV Write your Story,” which was phenomenal.

There has been plenty of media coverage of these events, so if you want to learn more, a quick Google will get you all the details you want. Most are linked on Bond LSC’s Facebook Page.

What’s left you ask?

Well there’s a free screening of the documentary about Greg: Back on Board!

bob.jpgIt’s at 7 pm on Monday, December 7 in Bond Life Science Center’s Monsanto Auditorium.

There are even going to be refreshments!

Trail to a Cure has been honored to be included in all of this year’s events.

In Memory, Honor, and Hope,

Scott (an the rest of the TTAC board)

PS: for photos of events all week, also refer to Bond’s Facebook page!


Dine at Smokin’ Chick’s for the Cause – F2FA is On for 11/4!

Our friends Chick and Lissa have agreed once again to support Trail to a Cure through a Feast 2 FIGHT AIDS dining out fundraiser.


Mark your calendar for Wednesday, November 4 – all day. Smokin’ Chick’s is now located on W. Broadway (near HyVee and Shakespeare’s West).

3301 West Broadway – Business Park Court, Ste A – Columbia MO 65203
(573) 256-6450

Hours:  11-8

All you need to do is patronize Smokin’ Chick’s (dine in or carry out) and present them with the F2FA FLYER when you order/pay, and they’ll pass on 15% of what you spend to us to help in our efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.

Need a reminder? Need a menu?

You may have noticed that we decreased the frequency of F2FA events from monthly to about 6 a year to avoid fatiguing you, our lovely supporters. That means that the events we DO have are that much more important.

Smokin’ Chick’s has won awards in all kinds of BBQ contests, so you can trust us when we say the food is great! So grab some friends and take some flyers with you and enjoy some food and cold beverages!

Bricks, Pizza, Opportunity, and an Auction for The Cause

[July 21 UPDATE:  the first brick has sold, but here’s the listing for another one!]

You know how sometimes you get an idea, and you think: “This will never work.”?  We had one of those. It was last minute, long shot, and what do you know? It worked! At least so far.


Being good local citizens, we love to shop locally and support locally owned small businesses. Why go to corporate pizza places when there are great options locally?


Like good pizza lovers, we were following the buzz around the news of the demolition of the original Shakespeare’s Pizza location (Columbia Daily Tribune article) at 9th and Elm. After some hand-wringing, we were pleased to learn that they moved next door temporarily while the property owners build a new structure that will have a specially designed space to hold the pizza place we all hold dear–at its original address.


Columbia Daily Tribune Photo

We were reading Pizza-Man-in-Chief Kurt’s testimony to the City Council about the need for a more intentionally designed space with all the charm that original place had. That’s when we got the last-minute idea: there have been a lot of folks lamenting about the end of an era, etc.–essentially forgetting that it’s not about the building. It’s about he good memories we have of spending time there with friends and loved ones–and the pizza.

Shakespeare's Pizza--The Masterpiece

We got in touch with our good friends and long-time supporters, Shakespeare’s, and we asked if we might obtain a few of those bricks from the facade that were sure to be heading to a landfill somewhere. “Who wouldn’t want to own a piece of those memories?” thought we.


Kurt and friends hooked us up with 6 of these bricks! We tidied them up a bit, but not so much that you can’t still smell the pizza (just kidding–they don’t smell like pizza).

Why, you ask?  We are auctioning them off on eBay with all proceeds going to our nonprofit cause! You can own a brick and help provide HIV/AIDS research by putting more medical/grad students and others in labs at MU’s Bond Life Sciences Center, and supporting services for people living with HIV/AIDS locally.

You can participate in the auction! It’s as easy as pie (pizza pie?).

The first one is listed now. [UPDATE:  that brick has sold, but here’s the listing for another one!]

If you know someone who might be interested–they don’t have to be local–please share this!

As usual, see you on the Trail to a Cure

PS: Be sure to check out the temporary Shakespeare’s around the corner on 8th St. (formerly Tin Can, BBC II, Los Bandidos, etc.) –we were just there and the pizza is as great as ever!

What is PrEP, exactly?

We tried something new last weekend: a celebration at the end of our fiscal year that focuses on what we have achieved as an organization and as an opportunity to share our mission with those who may be vaguely aware of TTAC, but have never had the opportunity to ask questions.

We had many great one-on-one conversations that were quite interesting, and there was significant focus and discussion of HIV/AIDS.

One event attendee asked, “What is PrEP?”  Our team members did our best to answer the question, but we decided to do a blog post to explore the topic further.

What is PrEP?

According to the CDC, “PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis. The word “prophylaxis” means to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease. The goal of PrEP is to prevent HIV infection from taking hold if you are exposed to the virus. This is done by taking one pill every day. These are some of the same medicines used to keep the virus under control in people who are already living with HIV.

That’s a pretty straightforward answer. Note the bit about “taking one pill every day.” When we answered off the cuff, we said the opposite. That’s why we’re not in the business of providing services–but rather fundraising!

There’s a ton of great info on the CDC website on this topic, such as whether PrEP is a vaccine, how to get it, how to pay for it, who should consider taking it, and much more. Please explore that site for this info, in the interest of keeping this blog post short.

We loved the infographics on the site, such as this one:


PDF version

For more information about HIV/AIDS testing, prevention, and treatment, we recommend getting in touch with Columbia/Boone County Public Health.

Trail to a Cure Wrap-Up for 2015


Greetings, TTAC’ers!

It’s our favorite time of year for Trail to a Cure. We’re wrapping up our fiscal year and tallying all the results of fundraising. That means it’s time to pass on the results of a year’s hard work to our beneficiary organizations for the year.

We are pleased to announce that we have raised $11,000 this fiscal year to fight AIDS. This brings our historical total to $95,000 since our founding.

Checks are being sent to 2015’s primary beneficiary organizations* as we speak!

  • Mizzou’s Bond Life Sciences Center is receiving funds to support the efforts of students who are working in labs with HIV/AIDS researchers. Many of these students are medical students, and their experience will help share their future careers as doctors who have a special insight into this disease.
  • amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research is receiving funds to support innovative research projects for HIV/AIDS.

As primarily a fundraising organization, we depend upon the donations, sponsors, event participants, and the willingness of the community to make monetary gifts in support of our mission.

Thank you to all who have supported our efforts this year!

See you on the trail next May 7th for our major fundraiser–the 2016 Ride/Walk/Run.  

Trail to a Cure’s board

PS: We evaluate our beneficiary organizations’ applications each year around this time, and we are in the process of selecting our beneficiary organizations for 2015-2016. Candidates for funding include amfAR, Bond Life Sciences Center, and Rain of Central Missouri. Watch for news soon!

*Rain, while not a designated beneficiary for 2015, received support from TTAC during this year’s holiday food drive.