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Home arrow Events arrow Gay Pride Events arrow Events arrow 45,000 Walkers Raise $5.7 Million at 25th Annual AIDS Walk New York
45,000 Walkers Raise $5.7 Million at 25th Annual AIDS Walk New York PDF Print E-mail
May 17, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Milestone Event Surpasses Fundraising Expectations

Governor Paterson, Renowned AIDS Activists, Community Leaders, and Entertainment Luminaries Pay Tribute to the Success of the AIDS Walk Movement and Vital Work of GMHC

New York, NY – Yesterday's 25th annual AIDS Walk New York (AWNY) marked a quarter-century of AIDS activism by raising substantial and critical unrestricted funds for GMHC and other important local AIDS service organizations in the tri-state area. Launched in 1986 in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, AWNY was the first event of its kind on the east coast, and has since become the world's largest AIDS fundraising event. This year, an estimated 45,000 people walked the 10-kilometer route beginning and ending in Central Park.

"Twenty-five years ago, 6,000 courageous New Yorkers joined together to rally and raise funds to help GMHC, the world's first AIDS organization. Those visionary people ignited a movement; and now each year, tens of thousands of walkers from every background mobilize and raise funds for GMHC's life-saving work," said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Producer of the event. "Today's extraordinary total of $5,717,610 is testament to our participants' and donors' unrelenting resolve to fight this disease and make AIDS history."

"Today's massive turnout and fundraising results demonstrate that our community is ready to face the next round of challenges in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Infections among youths, minorities, women, and gay men are increasing, while government funding at all levels is decreasing," said Marjorie J. Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "Every AIDS Walk dollar helps GMHC be GMHC. We are so grateful that so many people have walked with us today and showed their continued support for our prevention, care, and advocacy programs."

New York Governor David A. Paterson spoke about the current HIV/AIDS crisis in New York, and about the importance of the community's response.

Celebrities and notable figures at today's events included Michelle Clunie ("Queer as Folk"); Leslie Jordan ("My Trip Down the Pink Carpet," "Will and Grace"); Ngo Okafur (two-time Golden Gloves heavyweight champion); Anthony Rapp ("Rent"); Jai Rodriguez ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"); Hal Sparks ("Queer as Folk"); Michael Urie ("Ugly Betty"); CBS 2 anchors Dana Tyler and Chris Wragge; CBS 2 meteorologist John Elliot.

Elected and appointed officials in attendance included U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney; New York State Senator Thomas K. Duane; New York State Assemblymembers Brian Kavanaugh, Micah Kellner, Richard N. Gottfried, and Linda B. Rosenthal; New York City Councilmember Gale Brewer; Commissioner of the New York City HIV/AIDS Services Administration Robert Doar; Deputy Commissioner of the New York City HIV/AIDS Services Administration Matthew Brune; Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Bill Baroni; and NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Thomas Farley.

Broadway Star Christine Andreas ("La Cage Aux Folles") performed, "Love Don't Need a Reason" and Norm Lewis closed the Opening Ceremony with a performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone."

A Post-Walk Reception commemorating 25 years of AIDS Walk New York was attended by celebrity guests Jai Rodriguez, Lisa Lampenelli, Hal Sparks, and Leslie Jordan; veteran AIDS Walk and GMHC leaders, staff, and volunteers; and the AIDS Walk's top fundraising participants. The event was held just steps from the finish line at the iconic Central Park Boathouse. Guests enjoyed refreshments and an art installation with historical AIDS Walk photographs and memorabilia, as top supporters were recognized for their contribution to the AIDS Walk's success.

AWNY corporate support achieved a record level this year, anchored by its first-ever Presenting Sponsor, New York drugstore chain Duane Reade. As part of the partnership, Duane Reade sold special $1 paper red-ribbon pinups in its 258 New York metropolitan area stores beginning Saturday, April 10 through Saturday, May 15. The Duane Reade Foundation and the Duane Reade in-store pinup sales program have raised more than $300,000 for this year's AWNY, setting a new fundraising record.

Premier Sponsors included Bristol-Myers Squibb and Delta Air Lines. Grand Sponsors included Bloomberg, Gap Inc., and CBS 2. Principal Sponsors were Barclays Capital, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, The Village Voice, and The Vitamin Shoppe.

In the weeks prior to today's AIDS Walk, public exhibits were erected at the Time Warner Center and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Photographs, images, and stories highlighted both joyful and somber moments from the past quarter-century of AIDS Walk New York events. Other visual presentations were located at Chelsea Market's Wishing Well, where tossed coins were donated to AWNY; Macy's Herald Square, which decorated one of their famous windows with AWNY memorabilia; and the Retail Shops at 620 6th Avenue, which displayed multiple large banners and posters in their high-traffic lobby.

For more information, please visit aidswalk.net/newyork.

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About GMHC: GMHC, the first in the fight, continues to lead in providing HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, GMHC understands the reality of HIV/AIDS and empowers a healthy life for all. For more information, please visit www.gmhc.org.

About AIDS Walk New York: Since 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $100 million for HIV programs and services in the tri-state area, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world. In 2009 alone, 45,000 participants, many of whom were members of nearly 2,900 corporate and community teams, raised more than $5.6 million for GMHC and 50 other tri-state area AIDS service organizations. For more information, please visit www.aidswalk.net/newyork.

About MZA Events: AIDS Walk New York was founded in 1986 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 www.mzaevents.com.

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