It was a perfect sunny day for walkers, celebrities, politicians, activists, friends, co-workers and families to gather in West Hollywood to walk and raise money for the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2011.
The streets of West Hollywood and Los Angeles were filled with approximately 30,000 participants who walked the 10k (6.2 mile) and were there to raise awareness and needed funds to fight HIV/AIDS.
The goal is to walk and raise money for prevention, education, medical research/care and prevention. The 27th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles was held on Sunday, October 16, 2011 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in West Hollywood, CA (San Vicente Boulevard between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue).
In a press release issue by AIDS Project Los Angeles and AIDS Walk Los Angeles Craig R. Miller, Founder and Producer of the event said ”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.” Mr. Miller, concluded “We are deeply grateful to them, and their tens of thousands of donors, for reaching out and making a powerful statement. We are our brother’s keeper—we are our sister’s keeper.”
This year AIDS Walk Los Angeles raised a total of $3,005,014 and last year AIDS Walk LA raised a total of: $2,878,711 for L.A. County’s fight against AIDS. Counting this year funds AWLA has raised more than $72 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and other HIV/AIDS service non profit organizations throughout Los Angeles County.
“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,” said Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director of AIDS Project Los Angeles. Mr. Thompson concluded “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.”
Some of the celebrities and notable figures at the event included Drew Carey (“The Price Is Right”), Raquel Castaneda (“The Real L Word”), Barrett Foa (“NCIS: Los Angeles”), Dot Marie Jones(“Glee”), television host Carson Kressley (current contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”), Mike Manning (“The Real World DC”), Pauley Perrette (“NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigation Service”), television host Jai Rodriguez, Hal Sparks, and Louis Van Amstel (“Dancing with the Stars”). 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.”
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran, who spoke at The AIDS Walk Los Angeles Opening Ceremony about the current HIV/AIDS crisis in Los Angeles and West Hollywood and about the importance of the community’s response.
Other elected officials and special guests 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, Jan Perry, and 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, Director, Division of HIV & STD Programs, County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health, Mario J. Pérez, and Commander L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Eric Hamilton.
AIDS Walk Los Angeles is produced by Craig R. Miller from MZA Events.
In another note our Diversity News 3960 from Diversity News Publications AKA Diversity News Team #3960 for AIDS Walk Los Angeles 2011 members walked and raised money for the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles. The amount our team raise is $425.00, but team members will continue to seek donations. Also this fine publication, Diversity News Magazine published by Diversity News Publications is a proud sponsor of the 27th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles.
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 services, prevention education, and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. With more than 25 years of service, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, visit http://www.apla.org.
About AIDS Walk Los Angeles: Since 1985, AIDS Walk Los Angeles has raised more than $72 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 2010 alone, 30,000 participants, many of whom were members of 1,600 corporate and community teams, raised nearly $3 million for AIDS Project Los Angeles and 20 other AIDS service organizations. For more information, visit http://www.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 more than $350 million for major AIDS organizations throughout the country. For more information, please visit http://www.mzaevents.com.
About Diversity News Team #3960:
Diversity News team was created and establish by Esteban aka Steven Escobar. The group’s purpose and mission is to give back to the community and to help raise funds for AIDS education, awareness, prevention and medicine research. From 2003 to the present, Diversity News Team #3960 has been recruiting members to walk the 10k (6.2 mile) main event and to raise money for AIDS Walk LA benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles and other non profit organizations in the Los Angeles County. For more information visit http://diversitynewspublications.com/aboutus/contact/diversity-news-3960-team-for-aids-walk-l-a/
Photos credit to: Alex Palomares, Stella Gomez, Brian Lowe, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Diversity News Publications
Editor’s Note: Article first published on Examiner.com visit them at http://www.examiner.com/events-in-los-angeles/27th-annual-aids-walk-los-angeles-raise-3-million-for-the-fight-against-aids
By JR, Special for Diversity News Magazine
It was a historical night on Monday, September 19, 2011 when around 1:30am (early Tuesday morning) West Hollywood voted unanimously to be the first city in the world to become “Fur Free.”
Business owners, residents and people from other cities spoke out about the ordinance that bans the sale of fur. Although the city authorities have to refine the ordinance, it will be good to go within in the coming weeks.
Animal advocates and supporters celebrated the moment with cheers, high fives, smiles and hugs. The ban is the first of it’s kind in the nation, prohibiting the sales of fur clothing. For now, the sales of fur accessories and leather items are still allowed.
During the meeting, around 60 people stepped up to the podium to speak. Attorney Steven J. Bernheim said, “Free consumer choice has limits. For example, you can no longer be able to order foie gras, because it’s been deemed too cruel. For example, you can’t watch cock fighting any longer. Those are the reasons why you should pass this ordinance.” Jean Dobrin, a 36 year resident of West Hollywood said she was “horrified” by the selling of fur and went on to say, “Stella, the daughter of Paul McCartney won’t sell one speck of fur in her store. If I told you the method of killing these animals, you would be revolted.” She continued, “When I learned 20 years ago that they kill foxes by inserting an electrical charge in their anus, how would you like that? “
On the opposing side, Ester Ban made a good point, “No one has mentioned leather shoes, leather bags. Why not? They just don’t like fur.” She went on to say, “I don’t tell you what to wear, I don’t think you should tell me or the rest of the citizens to wear” She said that she didn’t believe that animals were killed inhumanly. She said it was “stupid” and just a “tactic trying to scare people like a horror film.” Hecklers from the opposing view clapped in support and were heard saying “lies, it’s all staged, they don’t do the to animals.” A few times during the heated discussion, the gavel rang out to keep the session in order.
Matt Rosell stated he went undercover for 4 months at a fox farm in Illinois and assured the audience that he saw “500 killed by anal electrocution.” He said “The public has a right to know what really happens to these animals. The fur industry is only able to sell these products by not sharing these facts.” Mary Cummins, president of animal advocates who rescues wildlife, stated that she had an “educational raccoon” that she almost brought to the meeting who loves to play with dog toys and watches tv. She pleaded, “I can assure you that they feel pain and sadness just like our cats and dogs. An animal is a living, breathing being. “
Retailers expressed their concerns stating that they could “lose 15% or more” of their revenue. To this, hit recording artist Fawn responded in a matter of fact tone, “Banning smoking in restaurants, has not stopped people from going to restaurants. 15% is not that big of a loss, compared to the loss of a life. There are plenty of alternatives that look like real fur.” She continued to say “I’m part of the entertainment industry, where fashion is at the fore front. Fashion is important for what I do. If West Hollywood continues to sell fur products, I will not shop here any more.” Fawn commented on the fact that President Obama would be visiting West Hollywood this coming Monday, and pointed out, “The First Lady Michelle Obama, refuses to wear fur.” Fawn proclaimed that “fear” was leading people to oppose the ban and used Rosa Parks as an example of overcoming fear. She asserted, “When Rosa Parks said no to the back of the bus, she was afraid, but stood up because it was the right thing to do. The thing about it is we have a choice. I ask that we make the right choice for humanity. West Hollywood leads, it doesn’t follow.”
Shannon Keith, Animal Rights attorney and award-winning producer of “Skin Trade,” affirmed, “I have seen undercover footage of what goes on, on fur farms” She said she went “door to door” to speak to business owners in West Hollywood and when they were shown the footage, they actually took the fur products off their shelves themselves.” She continued to say, “People are concerned about their sales, but what concerns us it the right not to torture animals.”
Ellen Lavinthal, one of the leaders of Fur Free West Hollywood said “It’s just the beginning of what’s to come in the humane treatment of animals and how we view fashion.”
Ed Buck, another leader of Fur Free West Hollywood stated, “West Hollywood is just more than this city, we are a beacon – the city on the hill and when we do something here, it does reverberate around the country and around the world. This is a reverberation that will be felt around the world.”
About Fur Free Weho Campaign:
Each year more than 50 million animals are killed for fur, whether raised in factory farm-like conditions or trapped in the wild. Recent investigations also show domestic dogs and cats are killed for fur, especially fur trim on garments imported from China, often improperly labeled “faux.” Last month, President Obama signed the Truth in Fur Labeling Act to require all real animal fur to be correctly labeled.
In 1989, West Hollywood passed Resolution Number 558 proclaiming the city a “Cruelty Free Zone for Animals.” The fur-free WeHo campaign makes good on the city’s promise.
“West Hollywood has the opportunity to once again be a leader for animal welfare by becoming the first Fur Free city in the nation,” said campaign supporter D’Amico. “We have pledged to be a place that is free of cruelty to animals and we can no longer support the barbaric fur trade by selling the products of that cruelty in our city.”
“This frivolous luxury can be stopped with consumer and civic action,” said campaign leader Ellen Lavinthal. “This will be another historic campaign showing the nation that West Hollywood is a leader in the protection of animal citizens.”
Photos credit to: http://wehonews.com, Gary Smith