Success! Thousands Participate in First-Ever California AIDS Walk & Concert at the Greek
Wanda Sykes & Blair Underwood Hosted Evening Concert with Special Appearances by Hanson, Sheila E, Siedah Garrett, Cazwell, Steve Lukather (from Toto), Alan Parsons Project, Shontelle, Country Singers Deana Carter, Billy Dean and James Otto Among Others
Daylong Event Raised Funds for Eight Local Southern California Non-profit Organizations: AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Service Center, Bienestar, Charles Drew Mobile Testing, Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, In the Meantime, Magic Johnson Foundation and Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project
The first-ever California AIDS Walk, this past Sunday, September 26th, was a resounding success. Families, friends, and coworkers came together for this family-friendly daylong festival, charity walk and concert, held at Los Angeles’ famed Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, in an effort to help raise funds and awareness for lifesaving HIV/AIDS services in Southern California.
“This new, California-flavored twist on a tried and true vehicle for raising funds for, and awareness about HIV/AIDS was a terrific success and we are grateful to all of those wonderful individuals and groups who participated,” said Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation President. “The California AIDS Walk truly offered all participants the chance to have a great time—walking, eating, dancing and enjoying music on a blazingly hot but gorgeous September Sunday—an innovative way to raise funds for eight local Southern California agencies working tirelessly in the fight against HIV and AIDS all year long.”
“This event was a party with a cause that lasted throughout the day and into the night,” said Dana Miller, AHF consultant and the organizer of California AIDS Walk. “People from all walks of life came together in a communal spirit of caring, compassion, commitment and celebration. We thank all the great performers and entertainers who lent their star-power to this worthy cause which raised funds to provide direct care and services to the patients and clients of these eight worthy organizations.”
The day's festivities began with food and drinks from over 20 different food vendors and food trucks, live music on two different stages, a beer garden, and lots of different games and carnival rides for the whole family. Next came the Walk, which was originally set up as a casual 5K walk through Griffith Park, but was shortened to a 1K due to the day's extreme heat (with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees). The Walk concluded at the entrance to the Greek Theatre where participants began finding their seats in anticipation of the "Stars under the Stars!" - 'Circle of Life' concert which followed.
The concert included a dynamic array of musicians, entertainers and special guests and was hosted by both comedienne and entertainer Wanda Sykes and actor and HIV/AIDS activist, Blair Underwood. Throughout the evening, walkers enjoyed some of music's finest at the iconic Greek, including musical performances and appearances by the Agape International Choir; Mindi Abair; Cazwell; actress Eden Espinosa (Elphaba from ‘Wicked’); Hanson; Sheila E; Siedah Garrett; actress Megan Hilty (Glinda from ‘Wicked’); gospel singer Israel Houghton; Korbee Jones; Steve Lukather (from the band Toto); actor Omar Miller (‘CSI: Miami’) ; David Pack; the Alan Parsons Project; actor Scott Patterson(‘The Event’), Jai Rodriguez; Shontelle; actor Rich Sommer (‘Mad Men’); Toad the Wet Sprocket; actress Lisa Vidal (First Lady Christina Martinez, on ‘The Event’); Jennifer Leigh Warren; Charles Wright; country singers Deana Carter; Billy Dean; and James Otto; as well as an all-star tribute to the music of Michael Jackson.
The daylong event benefitted eight respected local Southern California non-profit organizations, including AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AIDS Service Center, Bienestar, Charles Drew Mobile Testing, Children Affected by AIDS Foundation, In the Meantime, Magic Johnson Foundation and Whittier Rio Hondo AIDS Project.
The principal sponsor of California AIDS Walk was AHF Pharmacy
, a full service pharmacy affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Other sponsors include Cisco
, Wells Fargo
and the CBS Radio Group
(including Los Angeles area media outlets KRTH-FM
‘The Wave’ radio stations and KCBS-TV2
) Revenues generated from AHF Pharmacy contribute to caring for AHF patients as well as supporting its prevention and testing programs worldwide.