AIDS Walk LA celebrates 28 years, new allies and over $1.4 million in donations

AIDS Walk Los Angeles Kick-Off Celebration

Updated on Oct. 4, 2012

The 28th Annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles will take place on Sunday, Oct. 14 with the help of some new high-profile allies and some old friends. Thanks to those supporters, as of Oct. 3, over $1.4 million in funds have been raised online alone.

This year’s celebrity allies include Pauley Perrette of NCIS and Barrett Foa of NCIS: Los Angeles, Glee’s “Coach Beast” Dot-Marie Jones, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and The New Normal’s Andrew Rannells. An email campaign aimed at driving participation and pledges launched on Oct. 2 and featured  a video message from Ferguson detailing the reasons for his participation in the walk.nPerrette has long been an AIDS Project Los Angeles supporter

Foa hosted the AIDS Walk Los Angeles Kick-Off Celebration at Lexington Social House on Sept. 11. The event was so well attended that a line of cars waiting for valet snaked down Vine Street and Hollywood Boulevard, blocking the Pantages Theatre. Mid-way through the festivities, representatives announced ABC 7 as the new media sponsor and co-anchor Ellen Leyva as the official spokesperson. Dreamworks Animation received an award for the third-highest fundraising team for AIDS Walk Los Angeles in 2011.

Leyva told the crowd that in all her years at ABC 7, she’d never been more excited than at that moment. She also revealed how her life was affected by HIV/AIDS in 1992, when she received a call from a friend and learned that he was in the final stages of the disease and dying.

“The City of West Hollywood has again agreed to graciously host AIDS Walk Los Angeles and we are thrilled to have the backdrop of their newly completed state-of-the-art library and 2.5 acres of increased beautiful parkland and green space,” AIDS Walk representative Shona Borevitz said. “These renovations will really enhance the walkers’ experience on the morning of the Walk.”

“West Hollywood has seen a lot of change recently,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor, Jeffrey Prang. “What remains constant is our commitment to the fight against AIDS and our role as a national center of LBGT culture and community.”

Another returning supporter of the walk is Prudential California Realty. Last year the Los Feliz, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills branches formed a team. This year, as the Prudential California Realty AIDS Walk Team leader “it was imperative that I get as many of the L. A. region offices and their agents involved in AIDS Walk,” Beverly Hills Branch Manager, Nick Cacarnakis said. “Even if people can’t participate in the walk, they can still pledge their support for friends and co-workers who are.”

New support for the walk comes from AIDS Healthcare Foundation Pharmacy, as a presenting sponsor. “Another very unique change is that our route this year will be altered because of something coming from OUTER SPACE! The Space Shuttle, Endeavour, will make its way from LAX to the California Science Center during the weekend of the Walk,” Borevitz said.

Walkers will begin along the usual route, but instead of continuing on to La Brea Avenue from Melrose Avenue they will go south on Fairfax Avenue and “take Beverly [Boulevard] on home to West Hollywood Park where we will have KISS FM’s DJ Drew, tons of cheering volunteers, and plenty of refreshments right at the finish line to congratulate our walkers,” Borevitz said.

AIDS Walk Los Angeles benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles and 29 other Los Angeles County AIDS service organizations through the Community Coalition Initiative program. AIDS Project Los Angeles invites those organizations to participate as teams in AIDS Walk Los Angeles, utilize all promotional services and tools at no cost, and keep 100 percent of funds they raise to benefit and serve their clients.

Borevitz said, “We look forward to sharing this weekend with another great Endeavour!”

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