AIDS Walk Los Angeles Draws Over 30,000, Raises $3 Million
The crowd that gathered on Oct. 16 for the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles included speakers such as Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran, and openly gay television personality Carson Cressley, who said a few words to the massive crowd before the 10 kilometer walk commenced.
The estimated number of participants in the walk topped 30,000, a joint press release from AIDS Project Los Angeles and AIDS Walk Los Angeles said.
"Along with an impressive turnout, the event also achieved strong fundraising results," the release added. "Proceeds benefited AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and 24 other L.A. County AIDS service organizations that offer care and treatment for people living with the disease and work to stop new infections."
"Overcoming economic challenges that continue to hit especially hard here in Southern California, our 30,000 participants filled the streets and raised $3,005,014 to fight AIDS and provide vital care for people living with HIV," the event’s founder, Craig R. Miller, said.
"We are deeply grateful to them, and their tens of thousands of donors, for reaching out and making a powerful statement," added Miller, who also produced the event. "We are our brother’s keeper--we are our sister’s keeper."
"Since its inception, AWLA has raised more than $72 million for APLA and a host of other HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Los Angeles County," the release noted.
"As we mark the 30th year of the epidemic in the United States, AIDS Walk Los Angeles remains a critical--and, in fact, the single largest--source of support for those who rely on APLA’s services," the head of AIDS Project Los Angeles, Craig E. Thompson, said.
"With their incredible fundraising, AIDS Walk Los Angeles participants are changing lives, powering prevention efforts, and supporting advocacy work to defend the civil rights of all who live with this still-deadly disease," Thompson added.
"Other elected and public officials in attendance included: United States Representatives Linda Sanchez, Adam Schiff, and Brad Sherman; California State Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez; California State Assemblymembers Steven Bradford, Betsy Butler, Mike Feuer, Ricardo Lara, Bonnie Lowenthal, and Anthony Portantino; Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky; Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Tom LaBonge, Dennis Zine; West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Jeffrey Prang and West Hollywood City Councilmembers John D’Amico and John Heilman, City of Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel; and Director, Division of HIV and STD Programs, County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Mario J. Perez," the release said.
"Celebrities and notable figures at today’s event included Drew Carey (’The Price Is Right’), Raquel Castaneda (’The Real L Word’), Barrett Foa (’NCIS: Los Angeles’), Conchata Ferrell (’Two and a Half Men’), Dot Marie Jones (’Glee’), television host Carson Kressley (current contestant on ’Dancing with the Stars’), Mike Manning (Real World: D.C.), Pauley Perrette (’NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigation Service’), television host Jai Rodriguez, and comedian Hal Sparks," the release added.
"Jenifer Lewis performed ’Dig a Little Deeper,’ the song she originated in Disney’s ’The Princess and the Frog.’ Lewis also closed the Opening Ceremony with her performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ’You’ll Never Walk Alone.’"
The event also enjoyed strong corporate support, the release said, with sponsors including "the David Geffen Foundation, Latham & Watkins, NBC4 / Telemundo52, Paramount Pictures, Paul Hastings, Toyota, and Wells Fargo. Principal Sponsors included Anthem Blue Cross of California, Delta Air Lines, Gelson’s, Macy’s, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Nordstrom, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, and Vons/Pavilions."
AIDS Project Los Angeles (www.apla.org) has served the needs of people living with HIV for more than a quarter century, noted the release. AIDS Walk Los Angeles started in 1985, "and has grown into one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in the country," the release added.
"AIDS Walk Los Angeles was founded in 1985 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events," the release continued. "Miller is the AIDS Walk originator and has produced hundreds of public service campaigns and fundraising events, generating more than $350,000,000 for major AIDS organizations throughout the country."