25,000 WALKERS RAISE $3+ MILLION AT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA'S LARGEST AIDS FUNDRAISER
For Immediate Release
SAN FRANCISCO, July 17, 2011 – An estimated 25,000 walkers participated in today’s 25th annual AIDS Walk San Francisco (AWSF) in Golden Gate Park, raising over $3 million. The massive grassroots event raised a remarkable sum to support local HIV prevention, testing, and care services of San Francisco AIDS Foundation and 48 other Bay Area AIDS organizations.
“Today tens of thousand of participants, supported by an extraordinary number of individual donors, raised $3,011,245 to make a real difference in the fight against HIV,” said Craig R. Miller, founder and producer of the event.
“The funds raised by AIDS Walk San Francisco play a vital role in our efforts to radically reduce new HIV infections in San Francisco, ensure everybody knows their status, and make sure all people living with HIV/AIDS get the care they need,” said Neil Giuliano, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “AIDS Walk San Francisco is about a community of people coming together not only to create something special, but also to make a substantial impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS across the Bay Area.”
This year marks the 30th year since the first reported cases of AIDS in the United States. Currently 1.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS nationwide, the highest number in the history of the epidemic. Every day in San Francisco, two more people are infected with HIV. Alarmingly, rates of new HIV infections are rising among gay and bisexual men, the only risk group for which this is the case.
Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised more than $77 million for life-changing HIV prevention, testing, and care programs and services, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California.
“The evolution of AIDS Walk San Francisco over the past 25 years is a real reflection of the people who live here. Once again, the Bay Area community joined together to support friends and loved ones living with the disease, to honor those we have lost, and to strive to end AIDS here,” said Miller.
"I give my deepest thanks and congratulations to the AIDS Walk San Francisco participants and organizers on this important event’s 25th anniversary,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, who spoke at the opening ceremony. “The city joins you today and every day as we fight HIV/AIDS and help the communities most affected by this epidemic."
The AIDS Walk’s opening ceremony also featured Dan Ashley (ABC 7), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Cloris Leachman (“Raising Hope”), Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”), and Neil Giuliano. Mary Birdsong, from “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” performed “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Judy Kaye, also from “Tales of the City,” sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to energize the walkers as they set out on to the 6.2-mile (10-kilometer) route.
Elected officials in attendance included State Senator Mark Leno; San Francisco Supervisors David Chiu, Ross Mirkarimi, and Scott Wiener; and San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros.
The corporate community continues to show strong support of AIDS Walk San Francisco through team fundraising and major sponsorship. This year’s Grand Sponsors include ABC7, Chevron, and Gap Inc. Principal Sponsors are Bank of America, Gilead Sciences, KBLX 102.9, San Francisco Marriott Marquis, SF Weekly, Target, The Examiner, Wells Fargo, and Williams-Sonoma. Major Sponsors are Genentech, Sephora, Union Bank, and Walgreens.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation: No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is to radically reduce new HIV infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, visit sfaf.org.
About AIDS Walk San Francisco: Since 1987, AIDS Walk San Francisco has raised more than $77 million for lifesaving HIV prevention, testing, and care programs and services, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in Northern California. AIDS Walk San Francisco has become a Bay Area tradition, bringing together tens of thousands of participants and volunteers; hundreds of corporate, community, and friends and family teams; and hundreds of thousands of donors from the Bay Area and across the country. This year’s event benefits San Francisco AIDS Foundation and 48 of other Bay Area AIDS service organizations. For more information, 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.