A steady downpour of rain did not deter more than 30,000 people from participating in the 28th annual AIDS Walk New York in Central Park on Sunday, May 19. This year’s walk raised $5.5 million for GMHC and more than 40 other AIDS service organizations throughout the tri-state area.
AIDS Walk New York is the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world and has raised more than $128 million for HIV programs and services. The theme of this year’s AIDS Walk New York was “Community.”
Opening ceremony participants included Nick Adams (Broadway’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) Laura Benanti (Go On), Mondo Guerra (Project Runway), Megan Hilty (Smash), Jack Mackenroth (Project Runway), Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers, Tony and Emmy winner), Alex Newell (Glee), Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar, UglyBetty) and WCBS-TV anchors Dana Tyler and Lonnie Quinn.
Elected officials in attendance included New York State Senators Brad Hoylman and Gustavo Rivera; New York State Assemblymembers Daniel O’Donnell, Richard Gottfried, Brian Kavanagh, Ron Kim and Dave Weprin; New York City Council members Gale Brewer, Inez Dickens, Robert Jackson, Letitia James, Jessica Lappin and Jumaane Williams; and Johanne Morne and Humberto Cruz, representing Governor Cuomo.
Sponsors included Duane Reade, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Delta Airlines, Bloomberg, CBS2, Gap Inc., the Keith Haring Foundation, Armani Exchange, Barclays and The Village Voice.
Given the inclement weather, it seemed appropriate that legendary R&B singer and Grammy nominee Martha Wash (formerly of The Weather Girls and known for the disco hit “It’s Raining Men”) closed the opening ceremony with a performance of “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”