FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016
AIDS ACTIVISTS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS COMMEMORATE 30TH YEAR OF GMHC, ENCOURAGE PARTICIPANTS TO COMMIT TO BRINGING ABOUT AN AIDS-FREE GENERATION
New York, NY — Sunday's 27th annual AIDS Walk New York (AWNY) once again drew a massive crowd of 45,000 participants to Central Park. A star-studded Opening Ceremony preceded the 10-kilometer walk, which raised millions for GMHC and more than 40 other vital AIDS service organizations in the tri-state area. Dozens of corporate sponsors bolstered the efforts of tens of thousands of individual walkers, who together raised among the highest sums in the event's long history.
"Today's extraordinary turnout of supporters and the impressive sum of $6,014,822 raised is testament to the tri-state area's deep commitment to ending AIDS," said Craig R. Miller, Founder and Producer of the event. According to Miller, "It shows that, as a community, we recognize that giving rise to an AIDS-free generation is now within our grasp, and we are determined to do so." "It is GMHC's and my strong belief," Miller continued, "that the social ills of poverty, racism, sexism, and homophobia continue to fuel the epidemic. Today's outpouring of support proves that the powerful community that participates in, and contributes to, AIDS Walk New York each year is ready to confront these challenges as part and parcel of the fight to end AIDS."
"New York City continues to be the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States," said Marjorie J. Hill, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "With a cure still out of reach, education and support are critical to reducing new HIV infections and providing care for those living with HIV/AIDS. That is why, in GMHC's 30th year, we are so grateful for the continued support of so many throughout the tri-state area that walk each year to help raise much-needed funds."
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand addressed the massive crowd and stated, "GMHC has been there from the beginning. They were there before we even knew what to call HIV and AIDS. They were there the first day when men were dying in New York and San Francisco, and all across the country. I'm very proud to say that 30 years later GMHC is still here fighting against this disease, and will win the fight against this disease."
Celebrities made a strong showing at this year's event. Notable AIDS Walk participants included Nick Jonas (The Jonas Brothers), Keri Hilson (Grammy Award Winner), Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles), David Hyde Pierce (Emmy Award Winner), Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), Karlie Kloss (American Fashion Model), Jason Wu (Designer), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Nick Adams (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men), and Wendy Williams (The Wendy Williams Show).
In addition to U.S. Senator Gillibrand, other elected in attendance included U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney; New York State Senators Liz Krueger, Bill Perkins, and José M. Serrano; New York State Assembly Members Aravella Simotas, Micah Kellner, Herman D. Farrell, and Richard N. Gottfried; New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer; and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Carolee Carmello (Broadway's Sister Act) closed the Opening Ceremony with her performance of "You'll Never Walk Alone."
The AIDS Walk Post-Walk Concert featured Social Hero, DJ Duane Harriott, and Curtis Bailey and The Clinic.
Presenting Sponsor Duane Reade sold special $1 paper red-ribbon pinups in its more than 250 New York metropolitan area stores beginning April 9 through today. The Duane Reade Foundation and the Duane Reade in-store pinup sales program have raised more than $300,000 for this year's AWNY. Duane Reade has distinguished itself this year by becoming the first-ever sponsor to surpass one million dollars in total sponsorship of AIDS Walk New York.
Premier Sponsors included Bristol-Myers Squibb and Delta Air Lines. Grand Sponsors included Bloomberg, CBS 2, and Gap Inc. Principal Sponsors were Barclays, Stanley and Fiona Druckenmiller, PwC, and The Village Voice.
GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City. We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. Our mission: GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.
About AIDS Walk New York
Since 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $122 million for HIV programs and services in the tri-state area, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world. In 2011 alone, 45,000 participants, many of whom were members of more than 3,000 corporate and community teams, raised over $6.2 million for GMHC and 50 other tri-state area AIDS service organizations. For more information, please visit 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 mzaevents.com.