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Photo credit AIDS Walk Los Angeles/MZA Events
Photo credit AIDS Walk Los Angeles/MZA Events

Paula Abdul, Mayor Garcetti, Lea thompson, and Other Special Guests Address Massive Crowd at California’s Largest AIDS Fundraising Event  

Los Angeles, CA (October 12, 2014) – Today’s 30th 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.  The Opening Ceremony inspired and delighted the crowd gathered in and around West Hollywood Park, and featured a strong contingent of celebrity supporters, musical artists, elected officials, and AIDS activists. The 10K fundraising walk will benefit 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.

“The awe-inspiring community of AIDS Walk Los Angeles participants has once again proven its ceaseless dedication to helping people living with HIV and AIDS, as shown by today’s strong result of $2,263,180,” said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Senior Organizer of the event. “We never would have gotten anywhere in the fight against AIDS if we weren’t prepared to be fierce when we had to be. As we mark the Walk’s 30-year milestone today, it is clear that our walkers still have the commitment, compassion, and power to see this epidemic to its end.”

Since its inception, AWLA has raised more than $79 million for APLA and a host of other HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Los Angeles County.

“We are proud of the thousands of supporters of APLA who have year after year raised life-changing funds for people living with HIV/AIDS in our hardest hit communities. On behalf the 6,000 clients who rely on APLA’s services and the thousands more who benefit from our prevention and testing efforts, I want to thank everyone involved in today’s success,” said Craig E. Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of AIDS Project Los Angeles. “With funds raised through the AIDS Walk, we are able to provide more programs that serve more people in more locations throughout Los Angeles County, ensuring that no one endures their fight against HIV without the support they need.”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico 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: U.S. Representative Adam Schiff; California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian; Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin; Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer; Los Angeles City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Paul Koretz, andMitch O’Farrell; and West Hollywood City Councilmembers John Duran, John Heilman, Abbe Land, and Jeffrey Prang.

Celebrities in attendance included: Paula Abdul (critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, and choreographer), Lisa Vanderpump (“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”), Brandi Glanville(“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”), Pauley Perrette (actor, “NCIS”), Dick Donato (“Big Brother”), Michael Harney (“Orange Is the New Black”), Carson Kressley (contestant, “Dancing With the Stars”), Karina Smirnoff (“Dancing With the Stars”), Lea Thompson (actor, “Dancing With the Stars”), Artem Chigvintsev (“Dancing With the Stars”), Keo Motsepe (“Dancing With the Stars”), Nick Wechsler (actor, “Revenge”), Jai Rodriguez (actor and host),  Ellen Leyva (Co-Anchor, “ABC7 Eyewitness News”), Carly Ritter (singer) Jason Ritter (actor, “Parenthood”), Tyler Ritter (actor, “The McCarthys”), Cody Saintgnue (“Teen Wolf”), R.J. Aguiar (YouTube Personality), and Will Shepherd (YouTube Personality). 

The Young Americans theatre troupe kicked off the event’s Opening Ceremony with a powerful and energetic performance, followed by a stirring closing performance by Refiner’s Fire Gospel Choir.

Musical performances also included moving renditions of Heather Small’s “Proud” sung byChristopher Borger and “True Colors” sung by Alex Newell.

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 Premier Sponsor Quest Diagnostics; Grand Sponsors ABC7, the City of West Hollywood, Delta Airlines, David Geffen, Latham & Watkins, Paramount Pictures, and Paul Hastings LLP; and Principal Sponsors Macy’s, Time Warner Cable, Toyota, 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.

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 support to more than 6,000 people annually. APLA also provides prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. With more than 30 years of service, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, visitapla.org.

About AIDS Walk Los Angeles:  Since 1985, AIDS Walk Los Angeles has raised more than $79 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 2013 alone, 25,000 participants, many of whom were members of 1,600 corporate and community teams, raised over $2.5 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles and 27 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 founder and senior organizer and has produced hundreds of public service campaigns and fundraising events, generating more than $385 million for major AIDS organizations throughout the country.  For more information, please visit mzaevents.com.

Editor’s Note: Diversity News Magazine published by Diversity News Publications, is an Official Proud Media Partner for the Fourth year in a row for the 30th Annual AIDS Walk LA 2014. Also Article with photos and videos by Diversity News Magazine and Diversity News TV teams will be publish soon. Please come back for more. Thank you.

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