New York Steps up Support for 20th Year of World’s Largest AIDS Fundraiser
More than 45,000 New Yorkers are expected to take to the streets on Sunday, May 15, 2005 for the 20th annual AIDS Walk New York. With increased outreach and a new advertising campaign that is creating quite a buzz, Gay Men’s Health Crisis Executive Director Ana Oliveira is encouraging more New Yorkers to participate this year and break the record-setting $5.6 million amount that was raised last year.
AIDS Walk New York has continued to be a huge success since the groundbreaking event at Lincoln Center in May of 1986, when Mayor Ed Koch and other local elected officials opened the first AIDS event of its kind in New York. Participation that first year was 4,500 walkers, who raised more than $710,000 for GMHC.
“The first AIDS Walk New York was truly a pivotal event in AIDS awareness and fundraising. As we mark twenty years of walking to fight AIDS, we draw strength and inspiration from the unceasing commitment of the New York community to overcoming this epidemic,” says Oliveira. “AIDS remains a serious public health emergency and on May 15, we will join together with more than 45,000 New Yorkers to change the course of the epidemic.”
Today, AIDS Walk New York is the world’s largest AIDS fundraising event and has raised nearly $80 million for GMHC and other local AIDS organizations. Created and produced by Craig Miller and MZA Events, AIDS Walk New York drew more than 45,000 participants in 2004.
AIDS Walk New York will kick-off with the help of special celebrity guests, including Rita Moreno (West Side Story, OZ); John Spencer (The West Wing); Hal Sparks (Queer As Folk); Bill Brochtrup (NYPD Blue); Richard Thomas (The Waltons); Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray); the cast of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy: Ted Allen, Kyan Douglas, Thom Filicia, Carson Kressley, and Jai Rodriguez; with a special musical performance by Maureen McGovern (Little Women); and other guests to be announced.
GMHC is a nonprofit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. Its mission is to reduce the spread of HIV disease, help people with HIV maintain and improve their health and independence, and keep the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV an urgent national and local priority. GMHC provides services and programs to over 15,000 men, women and families that are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS in New York City.
AIDS Walk New York was founded in 1986 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Miller is the originator of the AIDS Walk fundraising model and has raised more than $250 million for leading AIDS charities nationwide. Miller and MZA have produced this landmark event benefiting GMHC and other local AIDS organizations every spring for the past twenty years.