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.
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.
Sources: Diversity News Magazine published by Diversity News Publications, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, AIDS Project Los Angeles
Photos credit to: Alex Palomares, Stella Gomez, Brian Lowe, AIDS Walk Los Angeles, Diversity News Publications