For the first time ever, Florida AIDS Walk and the California Music Festival & AIDS Walk took place simultaneously; Both included a full afternoon of family-fun, food and music
Thousands participated in the Walks to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS treatment, testing, outreach and support services on both coasts
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL & LOS ANGELES, CA (May 21, 2012) – AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, proudly presented coast-to-coast AIDS walks in Florida and California this past Sunday, May 20th. The Florida AIDS Walk in Ft. Lauderdale premiered a new route that begins and ends at a location along the Fort Lauderdale beach. The California Music Festival & AIDS Walk in Los Angeles once again took place in Griffith Park and the Greek Theatre and included a full afternoon of family-fun and free carnival games and rides, great performers on the world famous stage and a bevy of food trucks to satisfy every taste.
AHF Pharmacy—along with KRTH, K-EARTH 101 radio—sponsored this year’s Walk and concert dubbed “70s Boogie Night,” headlined by KC & The Sunshine Band and featuring Heatwave, Thelma Houston, Maxine Nightingale and Cheryl Lynn, plus a very special tribute to Don Cornelius, Soul Train, Dick Clark and Donna Summer. The concert was hosted by basketball legend, entrepreneur and HIV/AIDS advocate Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie Johnson, led the Walk at 4:30 pm. The festival—and Walk check-in—began at 2:00 PM (free food trucks, music stage, rides) with the 3K Walk at 4:30 PM, followed by the concert at the Greek Theatre at 6:00 PM.
Presented by AHF Pharmacy and Out of the Closet Thrift Store, Florida AIDS Walk 2012 is dedicated to raising awareness of the fact that more that 100,000 Floridians are living with HIV/AIDS, and to generating as much financial support as possible to provide the lifesaving care and services that they need. At this year’s Walk, 3400 walkers raised $826,000 for HIV testing, prevention and medical care services in Florida. This year’s Walk benefited an expanded list of organizations as the team strives to have an even greater impact on the community. Also new this year: Florida AIDS Walk 2012 included a food and music festival on the beach. Walkers were welcomes by Elvis Duran of Y100’s Elvis Duran and the Morning Show and were treated to a beachfront concert featuring musical guests: The B-52s, Berlin, CeCe Peniston and Ultra Nate. Additional acts include: Joi Cardwell, Jason Walker, Tony Cruz, DJ Michael Tank, DJ Doug Jackson and more.
More information can be found on the website at www.floridaAIDSWalk.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridaAIDSWalk and Twitter @FloridaAIDSWalk.
“Florida AIDS Walk has grown in size and success year over year,” said Mark Martin, AHF’s Regional Director, Community Relations & Development and the lead organizer of the Florida AIDS Walk. “In years past, participants have asked for a different, shorter route, and for something entertaining to do after the Walk to celebrate their hard work – and we’ve listened! This year’s Walk took place along the Fort Lauderdale beach, and culminated in a food and music festival that the whole community will enjoy. This new event is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our participants for their dedication and generosity in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as an opportunity to raise the bar for a whole new era of Florida AIDS Walk fundraising.”
The California Music Festival & AIDS Walk included a day of free carnival games and rides, great performers in the park and plenty of food trucks to kick the party off in style in landmark Griffith Park. The Walk is dedicated to raising awareness that more than 200,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in California and to raise funds for local AIDS service organizations including: AIDS Service Center, Bienestar, Charles Drew Mobile Testing, In The Meantime, Magic Johnson Foundation and Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project. More information can be found on the website: www.walkeatdance.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/californiaAIDSWalk and on Twitter at @caAIDSwalk.
“2012 is AHF’s 25th anniversary, the Greek Theatre’s 80th and our media sponsor K-EARTH 101 radio’s 40th, so together we pulled out all the stops to guarantee a mega-superstar concert that followed the festival and Walk. Plus, the legendary Magic Johnson served as host,” Dana Miller, AHFs Executive Producer, Events and the lead organizer of the California Music Festival & AIDS Walk. “We promised to reward participants’ commitment with a full afternoon of fun and entertainment, and we did just that—all for a great cause: to raise HIV/AIDS awareness and funds for local beneficiaries who provide lifesaving services to the community all year long.”
According to the Florida Department of Health’s most recent HIV/AIDS fact sheet, through 2010 the total number of people living with HIV and AIDS in Florida increase 5.3% for a total of 97,978. According to the California Department of Public Health, Office of AIDS’ most recent fact sheet (including data through June 30, 2011), there are 160,760 people living with AIDS and 43,501 people living with HIV in California. The number in both states is likely higher as it is estimate that nationwide 20% of people who are HIV-positive are unaware they are infected.