Wayne Brady, Drew Carey, Pauley Perrette, Richard Simmons, and Other Special Guests Address Massive Crowd at California’s Largest AIDS Fundraising Event.
Los Angeles, CA (October 13, 2013) – Today’s 29th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles (AWLA) drew an impressive crowd of more than 25,000 participants who filled the streets of West Hollywood and Los Angeles in support of people living with HIV/AIDS. Celebrity supporters, elected officials, and notable AIDS activists addressed the crowd assembled in and around West Hollywood Park before the walkers set out on the 10K route. The event raised funds for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and 27 other important L.A. County AIDS service organizations. These groups provide essential, direct services to thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as vital HIV prevention work that reaches many more throughout the Southland.
“Today, our united community raised $2,520,684, which will help propel us still further toward our goal of an AIDS-free generation,” said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Senior Organizer of the event. “This year’s strong turnout and fundraising result proves that even in the face of the sequester, cutbacks, government dysfunction, and a still struggling economy, the power and compassion of AIDS Walk Los Angeles never shuts down.”
Since its inception, AWLA has raised more than $77 million for APLA and a host of other HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Los Angeles County.
“On behalf of our 11,000 clients who rely on APLA’s services, I want to thank our incredible supporters who walk and raise much needed funds year after year at AIDS Walk Los Angeles,” said Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles. “Thirty years ago, the founders of APLA came together to combat a crisis that was destroying lives. Today, with your help, we are changing lives, preventing new infections, and keeping the pressure on government at all levels to keep fighting alongside us to put an end to AIDS.”
The AIDS Walk Los Angeles Opening Ceremony occurred before a massive and energetic crowd that assembled in and around Santa Monica Blvd. and San Vicente, in the heart of the City.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land spoke about the current HIV/AIDS crisis in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, as well as the vital work of lead beneficiary APLA.
Other elected officials in attendance included: California State Senator Rod Wright; California State Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian and Anthony Portantino; Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, and Mitch O’Farrell; West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem John D’Amico; West Hollywood City Councilmembers John Duran, John Heilman, and Jeffrey Prang; California State Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton; Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; Carson City Councilmember Mike Gipson; and Inglewood City Clerk Yvonne Horton.
Celebrities in attendance included: Corbin Bleu (“Dancing with the Stars”), Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make a Deal”), Drew Carey (“The Price is Right”), Conchatta Ferrell (“Two and a Half Men”), Peter Gallagher (“Covert Affairs”), Crystal Hefner (Playboy), Kate Linder (“The Young and the Restless”), Hamish Linklater (“Newsroom”), Gabriel Mann (“Revenge”), Edie McClurg(“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”), Daniel Musto (Fashion Stylist), Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”), Jai Rodriguez (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”), and Nick Wechsler (“Revenge”).
Fitness icon Richard Simmons energized the crowd with a spirited aerobic warm-up prior to the Opening Ceremony. The esteemed Terri White closed the Opening Ceremony with her performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
The corporate community continued to show its strong support for the event through team fundraising and corporate sponsorship. Longtime AIDS Walk supporter, ABC7 News Anchor Ellen Leyva, addressed the crowd. ABC7 returned this year as AIDS Walk Los Angeles’ television broadcast sponsor, with airings of AIDS Walk PSAs featuring Jesse Tyler Ferguson of ABC’s “Modern Family.”
Also in attendance were representatives from the event’s top sponsors and top corporate teams, including Grand Sponsors the City of West Hollywood, David Geffen, Paramount Pictures, Paul Hastings LLP, and Toyota; and Principal Sponsors Albertsons, Delta Air Lines, Macy’s, Marilyn & Jeffrey Katzenberg, Time Warner Cable, and Wells Fargo. Time Warner Cable provided free WiFi access to walkers along the entire route, enabling them easier access via smartphone to fundraise and share their experiences.
For more information, please visit aidswalk.net/losangeles. To connect with the online community on Facebook, simply join the “AIDS Walk Los Angeles Facebook Fan Page.” To view exclusive video content, visit the AIDS Walk Los Angeles YouTube channel at youtube.com/aidswalkla. To receive instant updates, follow “@AIDSWalkLA” on Twitter.
29th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2013
About AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA): AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest nonprofit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct medical and support services, HIV and STD screening and prevention education, and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. After 30 years, APLA remains a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, visit apla.org.
About AIDS Walk Los Angeles: Since 1985, AIDS Walk Los Angeles has raised more than $77 million for HIV programs and services throughout Los Angeles County, and has grown into one of the largest AIDS fundraising events in the country. In 2012 alone, 25,000 participants, many of whom were members of 1,600 corporate and community teams, raised nearly $3 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles and 29 other L.A. County AIDS service organizations. For more information, visit aidswalk.net.
About MZA Events: AIDS Walk Los Angeles was founded in 1985 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Miller is the AIDS Walk originator and has produced hundreds of public service campaigns and fundraising events, generating nearly $380 million for major AIDS organizations throughout the country. For more information, please visit mzaevents.com.
Photos credit to: Stella Gomez/Disco Stella’s Pics, and Francois Palais Photography. (C) Stella Gomez, Francois Palais, Diversity News Magazine & Diversity News Publications. All Rights Are Reserved.
Editor’s Note: Diversity News Magazine published by Diversity News Publications, is an Official Proud Media Partner for the third year in a row for the 29th Annual AIDS Walk LA 2013. Also come back for our complete coverage of the 29th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles.