Mayor Villaraigosa, Drew Carey, Carson Kressley, Pauley Perrette, and Other Special Guests Address Crowd at California’s Largest AIDS Fundraising Event
An estimated 30,000 participants filled the streets of West Hollywood and Los Angeles at today’s 27th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles (AWLA). Celebrity supporters, elected officials, and notable AIDS activists spoke before the massive crowd assembled in and around West Hollywood Park before the walkers set out on the 10-kilometer route. Along with an impressive turnout, the event also achieved strong fundraising results. 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,” said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Producer of the event. “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.”
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.
“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. “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.”
The AIDS Walk Los Angeles Opening Ceremony featured Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran, who spoke about the current HIV/AIDS crisis in Los Angeles and West Hollywood and about the importance of the community’s response.
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.
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. 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 corporate community continued to show its strong support for the event through team fundraising and corporate sponsorship. This year’s Grand Sponsors included 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.
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 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 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 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 $350,000,000 for major AIDS organizations throughout the country. For more information, please visit mzaevents.com.