Northern California’s Largest AIDS Fundraising Event
Attracts 25,000 Participants
Bay Area Support For AIDS Walk Remains Strong Despite Difficult Economy
San Francisco, Calif. (July 19, 2009) – The 23rd annual AIDS Walk San Francisco announced huge attendance and strong fundraising results for this year’s event, which was held today in Golden Gate Park.
“Twenty-five thousand participants, and their tens of thousands of sponsors, did not allow tough times to break their stride on the way to raising more than $3.5 million for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation,” said Craig R. Miller, founder and producer of the event. “We owe everyone who walked today, and all who sponsored them, a particularly deep debt of gratitude. In the midst of this historically difficult recession, today’s total is truly a remarkable testament to the Foundation’s supporters.”
Since its inception in 1987, AWSF has raised more than $74 million for the Foundation and dozens of other Bay Area HIV/AIDS service organizations.
“Today’s great turnout demonstrates once again the community’s enthusiastic support for the Foundation’s goals of radically reducing the number of new HIV infections and promoting the health of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area,” said Mark Cloutier, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Proceeds from this year’s AIDS Walk provide unrestricted funds necessary to continue our cutting-edge prevention and advocacy services.”
The Opening Ceremony featured California Attorney General Jerry Brown, Dan Ashley (ABC-7), Fernando and Greg (Energy 92.7, “Fernando & Greg in the Morning”), Jai Rodriguez ("Groomer Has It," “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”), R&B singer-songwriter Goapele, Tim’m T. West (Poet, Lyricist, and Activist), and Mark Cloutier, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
Elected officials in attendance included California Attorney General Jerry Brown, State Senator Mark Leno; San Francisco City Treasurer Jose Cisneros; and San Francisco Supervisors Bevan Dufty, Tony Campos, and Sean Elsbernd; and Santa Clara Supervisor Liz Kniss.
Julie Garnye’s inspiring and emotional Opening Ceremony 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.
The corporate community continued to show its strong support of the event through team fundraising and corporate sponsorship. This year’s Grand Sponsors include ABC-7, Chevron, Gap Inc., Wachovia, and Williams-Sonoma. Principal Sponsors are bebe, Energy 92.7, The Examiner, Gilead Sciences, KBLX 102.9, Nordstrom, San Francisco Marriott, SF Weekly, and Wells Fargo. Major Sponsors are Genentech, Union Bank, and Walgreens.
For more information, please visit www.aidswalk.net/sanfran.
About AIDS Walk San Francisco: AIDS Walk San Francisco has become a Bay Area institution, bringing together tens of thousands of participant fundraisers 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. The event benefits the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and more than 60 other Bay Area AIDS service organizations. For more information, visit www.aidswalk.net.
About San Francisco AIDS Foundation: The San Francisco AIDS Foundation provides leadership to prevent new HIV infections. Linking community experience with science, the Foundation develops ground-breaking prevention programs and bold policy initiatives to promote health and create sustainable progress against HIV. Established in 1982, the Foundation refuses to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. For more information, visit sfaf.org.
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 originator of the AIDS Walk fundraising model, which has raised more than $350 million for leading AIDS charities nationwide. For more information, please visit www.mzaevents.com.