On Sunday, May 21, more than 20,000 participants and over 1,000 volunteers came together for the 33rd AIDS Walk New York (AWNY) in New York’s City Central Park. The annual event raised a grand total of $4,416,919 for GMHC and other tristate area AIDS service organizations.
Since 1986, AWNY has raised more than $154 million to combat HIV/AIDS and support program and services aimed at helping those impacted by the virus. It is the largest single-day AIDS fundraising event in the world.
“New Yorkers once again demonstrated their unwavering compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Kelsey Louie, CEO of GMHC. “Today, we assembled in massive numbers and raised vital funds that will help GMHC continue to be a national leader in the response to HIV/AIDS, while moving our community closer to our goal of ending the epidemic by 2020.”
“There’s an alarming trend against truth coming out of Washington, DC, these days, but here in New York, facts still matter,” said Craig R. Miller, AIDS Walk founder and senior organizer of the event.
The opening ceremony included celebrity appearances by actress and activist Rosie Perez; The Boys in the Band’s Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver and Andrew Rannels; Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski, Tan France and Jonathan Van Ness; Nico Tortorella (Younger); Jason Tam (Jesus Christ Superstar Live); Javier Muñoz (Hamilton); Andrea Navedo (Jane the Virgin); Michael Urie (Ugly Betty); Phi Phi O’Hara (RuPaul’s Drag Race); Academy Award and Tony Award winner Mercedes Ruehl; Frenchie Davis (American Idol, The Voice); Darlesia Cearcy (Once on This Island); and Orange Is the New Black’s Hunter Emery, Annie Golden, Selenis Leyva and Dale Soules.
Davis, Cearcy and Tam gave crowd-pleasing performances with their renditions of “Firework,” “The Human Heart” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
Here’s a video recap of the opening ceremony:
Click the gallery below to view images from the opening ceremony.
Elected and other public officials in attendance included New York State Senator Brad Hoylman; New York State Senator Brian Benjamin; New York State Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried; New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Steven Banks, the commissioner of the New York City Department of Social Services; Matthew McMorrow, the LGBTQ liaison to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio; and Johanne Morne, the director of the New York State AIDS Institute.
The second annual post-walk show was held at Central Park’s Rumsey Field for participants who raised a minimum of $200. Hosted by Alexis Michelle of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the crowd enjoyed performances by the legendary Pointer Sisters, Frenchie Davis and Drag Race fan favorites Phi Phi O’Hara, Milk, Trinity Taylor and Ivy Winters.
Here’s a video recap of the post-walk show:
Click the gallery below to view images from the post-walk show.
This year’s AWNY was sponsored by Delta Air Lines, Gilead Sciences, ViiV Healthcare, Barclays, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cam4, Duane Reade by Walgreens, Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller, J. Crew, The Keith Haring Foundation and Pepsico.
Here’s a video explaining why it’s important to support AIDS Walk New York:
For more information about AIDS Walk New York, visit ny.aidswalk.net.
For more information about GMHC, visit gmhc.org.