Jack Mackenroth’s Bare Body Selfies Secure Over $50K For Braking AIDS Ride

Personalized bare body selfies of  Jack Mackenroth, the well-known HIV activist and Project Runway contestant, secured over $50,000 in donations for Braking AIDS Ride, Mackenroth announced on September 30.

“WE DID IT!!! WOO HOO!!! I reached my goal for BRAKING AIDS RIDE!!!” Mackenroth announced on social media. “Thanks to MANY of you I just reached $50,000 dollars for Housing Works to provide services for people struggling with HIV/AIDS and homelessness. I am humbled and blessed and thankful!!!”

The 3-day 300 mile bike ride from Boston to New York ride benefits Housing Works in NYC. Mackenroth’s 19-person cycling team, the MackPack raised over $128,000 for the organization.

Two months ago, Mackenroth committed himself to the to benefit. As a lifelong athlete he had faith that with the right training and equipment the ride, while extremely challenging, was doable. The fundraising piece was a different story.

“I made the mistake of speaking before doing my research and I announced that I was going to raise $50,000 dollars in just 7 weeks. I figured with my massive social media reach I could just put out a few occasional call-outs and the donations would come rolling in. Wrong,” Mackenroth said.

Mackenroth had to get creative after his first few attempts yielded tepid results. Subsequently he began “selling” personalized semi-naked selfies for donations over $250 dollars. Leveraging his body as a billboard, he would tag the name, business, website or social media handle of any major donor and post it on all of his social media outlets, which have a reach of over 500,000 followers.  The larger the gift, the more provocative the placement.

“Donations started flowing in. And when I posted a pic and thanked the individual for their generosity, often other donations followed,” Mackenroth said. “I did a lot of direct asking to everyone I know – online and offline. I followed up. I hounded people. I think there are some people who have permanently blocked my number. HAHA!”

The buzz created by the MackPack also gained the attention of two major sponsors Martone Cycling Co. and the dating app, SCRUFF. Mackenroth said he hopes that his team’s efforts will also draw media attention to BRAKING AIDS®  Ride and the efforts of Housing Works.

Andrew Greene, Housing Works Senior Vice President for Business Development and Marketing said, “We’re thrilled with the social media attention and much needed funds Jack’s fundraising brought.” Contributions help the organization provide medical and mental health care, housing assistance and other services to over 5,000 New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

“The BRAKING AIDS Ride was life changing in so many ways. As you can see from the photos we had a blast and I made friends that I will have for life. You create amazing bonds with people when you conquer seemingly insurmountable challenges together,” Mackenroth said. “I could barely walk for two days, but I can’t wait to do it again. I encourage EVERYONE to sign up for next year. You will save lives and change your own!”

For more information about BRAKING AIDS® Ride,click here www.brakingaidsride.org. For more information about Housing Works, click here www.housingworks.org. Follow Jack on Twitter and Instagram @jackmackenroth. Photographs courtesy of Alan Barrett.

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