Celebrities, elected leaders, and 20,000 other caring people united to raise funds for much needed HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs.
On Sunday, October 11, 2015, MZA Events held their 31st annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles in West Hollywood Park at 647 N San Vicente Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.
More than 20, 0000 caring celebrities, elected leaders, corporations, small business and caring participants showed unity to raise funds, education, find the cure for HIV/AIDS and awareness for our next generations with new services and prevention programs.
“Today’s high temperatures did not stop our supporters from turning out in massive numbers and raising $2,375,946,” said AIDS Walk Founder and Senior Organizer Craig R. Miller.“Just as they have since the beginning of the epidemic, this inspiring community continues to manifest the commitment, compassion, and power necessary to end AIDS, regardless of the political, epidemiological, or literal climate. AIDS Walk supporters are anything but fair-weather friends. They tough it out with us year after year, no matter what.”
“We are incredibly thankful for everyone who raised funds, showed up this morning, and braved the heat to do the Walk with us,” APLA Chief Executive Officer Craig E. Thompson said. “We are at a pivotal moment in the epidemic. The funds raised through the Walk give us an opportunity to really change its arc by ensuring that people living with HIV and AIDS are getting the support and health care they need while now also being able to deliver health care—including HIV testing, STD screening, and PrEP—to HIV-negative individuals in L.A. County. It’s a pretty powerful combination that will have a real impact.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about the current HIV/AIDS crisis in the city, encouraging everyone to know their status. “We want people to go out there and take advantage of free testing, and to spread the word,” he said. The Mayor also noted his support of the trans community, a population that experiences disproportionately high rates of HIV infection. “We need trans equality in this city and in this country and in this world, today, right now, right here,” said Mayor Garcetti.
Other elected officials in attendance included: California State Senators Ricardo Lara, Isadore Hall, and Ben Allen; California State Assemblymembers Mike Gipson and Adrin Nazarian; Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang; West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem Lauren Meister, who spoke on behalf of the AIDS Walk host city; West Hollywood City Councilmembers John D’Amico, John Duran, and John Heilman; L.A. City Councilmember Paul Koretz; and L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin.
The Celebrities in attendance included:, Drew Carey (The Price Is Right), Lea DeLaria (Orange Is the New Black), Kim Johnson & Robert Herjavec (Dancing With the Stars), Chris Kluwe (professional NFL football player), Carson Kressley (Dancing With the Stars), Our Lady J (classical pianist, TV writer on Transparent, and singer-songwriter), Danny Pintauro (actor and HIV/AIDS activist), Jai Rodriguez (actor and musician), Ken Todd & Lisa Vanderpump (Vanderpump Rules), and Nick Wechsler (Revenge).
The Sposato Brothers sang “In My Life,” and Ashley Brown (The Sound of Music at the Ahmanson Theater) closed the program with a stirring performance of “Climb Every Mountain.”
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.
Also in attendance were representatives from the event’s top sponsors and top corporate teams, including Premier Sponsors Quest Diagnostics and Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Grand Sponsors ABC7, the City of West Hollywood, Delta Airlines, Paramount Studios, and Paul Hastings LLP; and Principal Sponsors Albertsons|Vons|Safeway, Macy’s, Crescent Heights LLC, Time Warner Cable, Toyota, and Wells Fargo. Time Warner Cable once again provided free WiFi access to walkers along the entire route, allowing them to fundraise and share their experiences via their mobile devices.
For more information, please visit la.aidswalk.net. 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.
Editor’s Note: On behalf of APLA and the thousands of people who benefit from its services, thank you once again for joining AIDS Walk Los Angeles and for your dedication to bringing about an AIDS-free generation.
While they gladly accept donations year-round, you have until Friday, November 6, for funds to count toward your total and to earn Fundraising Awards. In the next few weeks, please continue your commitment by collecting 100% of your remaining pledges.
If you were unable to attend AIDS Walk Los Angeles today, we nonetheless appreciate your support. You can mail in your contributions to AIDS Walk Los Angeles, P.O. Box 933005, Los Angeles, CA 90093-3005.
Thank you again, and see you next year!
Important Editor’s Note: Diversity News Magazine is a proud media partner for the fifth year in a row of AIDS Walk Los Angeles benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles. For more information visit http://diversitynewsmagazine.com or diversitynews3960.diversitynewspublications.com
Photos credit to: Donna F. Aceto/AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Leif Green/AIDS Walk LA/APLA and Mollywood Hollywood/Diversity News Magazine.