SAN FRANCISCO, July 14, 2010 &emdash; An estimated twenty-five thousand walkers showed up to participate in the 24th annual AIDS Walk San Francisco today, raising $3,031,551 for the annual fundraising walk-a-thon in Golden Gate Park. Funds raised at the walk directly support local HIV prevention, testing and care services of San Francisco AIDS Foundation and 59 other Bay Area AIDS organizations.
“Twenty-five thousand participants, supported by tens of thousands of individual donors, raised over three million dollars today in a powerful demonstration of compassion in action. For more than two decades, the Bay Area’s enduring support for AIDS Walk San Francisco has saved countless lives while at the same time continuing to show that grassroots activism can move government to respond to community needs,” said Craig R. Miller, AWSF’s founder and producer. “The people of the Bay Area understand that ending AIDS also means ensuring healthcare for all; fighting homophobia, racism, and sexism; and focusing on high-risk, lowincome communities where help is needed the most, and today they acted on that understanding,” Miller added.
This week, the White House announced the first-ever National AIDS Strategy for the United States, setting the stage for dramatic progress in the domestic AIDS crisis. The plan will act as a roadmap for addressing three goals set by President Obama: reduce new infections, ensure access to care, and address HIV/AIDS-health disparities. The success of the plan rests in its funding and implementation, and community-based organizations which must locally deliver the important programs and services made possible in part by funding through events like AWSF.
“Today, tens of thousands of walkers representing diverse regions throughout Northern California sent a powerful message – that when it comes to fighting HIV and AIDS, we stand united as one community,” said Barbara Kimport, Interim CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “This week’s historic announcement from the White House serves as wind on our sails as we move closer towards our goals of radically reducing new HIV infections and ensuring access to care for all who need it. Today, we are a country in action against AIDS.” The event raised vital funds for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and 59 other important Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations. Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised more than $76 million for lifesaving HIV prevention, testing and care programs and services, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California. The AIDS Walk’s Opening Ceremony featured Dan Ashley (ABC7), Barbara Kimport (San Francisco AIDS Foundation), and members from the cast of “Wicked” who performed the song “For Good” from the hit musical. Shuler Hensley’s (“Young Frankenstein”) inspiring and emotional rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” moved and energized the crowd as they set out on to the 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) route. Elected officials in attendance included State Senate Assistant President pro Tempore Leland Yee, Ph.D., State Senator Mark Leno, Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Fiona Ma, San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros, San Francisco Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Ross Mirkarimi, and San Francisco Recreation and Park Commissioner Mike Sullivan.
The corporate community continued to show strong support of the event through team fundraising and major sponsorship. This year’s Premier Sponsor is Chevron. Grand Sponsors included ABC7, Del Monte Foods, Gap Inc., and Williams-Sonoma. Principal Sponsors were Bank of America, Gilead Sciences, KBLX 102.9, MOViN 99.7 FM, Nordstrom, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, SF Weekly, and Wells Fargo. Major Sponsors were Genentech, Skyler St. John Catering, Union Bank, and Walgreens.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
San Francisco AIDS Foundation works to ensure the HIV epidemic ends in the same city where it began. By combining innovative, evidence-based programs for HIV prevention and care with bold policy initiatives focused on issues ranging from harm reduction to total health and wellness, the agency is making sustainable progress against HIV among populations most vulnerable to the disease. Established in 1982, San Francisco AIDS Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable.
About AIDS Walk San Francisco
Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised more than $73 million for HIV programs and services in the Bay Area, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California. In 2009 alone, 25,000 participants, many of whom were members of 951 corporate and community teams, raised more than $3.5 million for San Francisco AIDS Foundation and 63 other Bay Area AIDS service organizations. For more information, please visit www.aidswalk.net/sanfran.
About MZA Events
AIDS Walk San Francisco was founded in 1987 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 the major AIDS organizations throughout the country. For more information, please visit www.mzaevents.com.
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