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    From Bronx to the Bay Area, This Year’s AIDS Walk Will Make History

    United by a common cause and undaunted by the COVID-19 pandemic, AIDS Walk San Francisco and AIDS Walk New York have announced their first-ever collaboration: AIDS Walk: Live at Home, a 90-minute, livestreamed virtual event set for Sunday, July 19. It will raise money to benefit San Francisco’s PRC and New York’s GMHC, two nonprofit organizations that provide vital services for people affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19  and other challenges. Those looking to participate may register for free and raise funds or donate directly at https://www.aidswalk.net/

    AIDS Walk: Live at Home will feature performances and appearances by a broad list of talent, including: award-winning icon, Bette Midler; Grammy-winning global superstar, Gloria Estefan; Golden Globe winner, Matt Bomer; entertainment icon, Vanessa Williams; Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner, Laura Linney; Tony Award winner, Alan Cumming; Skylar Astin (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist); Tan France (Queer Eye); Bobby Berk (Queer Eye); Karamo Brown (Queer Eye); Peter Gallagher (Grace and Frankie, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist); Ross Mathews (RuPaul’s Drag Race); Alex Newell (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist); Elvis Duran (iHeartMedia on-air personality); Mae Whitman (Good Girls); and other stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race, including Nina West, Jackie Cox, Latrice Royale, Willam, Chi Chi DeVayne, Alexis Michelle, The Vixen, and Ginger Minj.

    In addition to being livestreamed on the websites for AIDS Walk, PRC, and GHMC, AIDS Walk: Live at Home will also be broadcast on ABC7/KGO-TV. Presented in partnership with iHeartMedia, the event will be streamed live on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel. Additionally, iHeart’s Z100 in New York and KIOI, KMEL, and KYLD here in San Francisco will support the event with multiple radio promotions leading up to July 19.

    Featuring voices from both cities, AIDS Walk: Live at Home will harness the strength and individual character of two landmark events and the communities that embrace them year after year.

    “From the Bronx to the Bay Area, this creative joint effort will unite our distinct yet like-minded communities of supporters from across multiple regions. At the same time, supporters from other locations across the country—particularly with cities that do not have their own AIDS Walks—will be able to join in on the fun,” said Brett Andrews, CEO of PRC; Kelsey Louie, CEO of GMHC; and Craig R. Miller, founder of both events; in a joint statement.

    New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo issued this statement of support: “GMHC’s staff and volunteers are doing heroic work in the midst of the pandemic—delivering life-saving services to thousands of people threatened by both HIV and COVID-19. This critical organization needs our support and I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in this year’s virtual AIDS Walk.”

    “Stemming from the uncertainty surrounding the current healthcare crisis, we collectively decided to bring teams together virtually to create a new vision for the Bay Area’s largest, single-day AIDS-related fundraiser,” said Andrews. “Now marking our 33rd year, we’re really excited about AIDS Walk: Live at Home which will raise awareness and funds that support HIV care and prevention services, as well as mental health, substance use, housing, and other important social programs.”

    “When the COVID-19 pandemic struck New York City, we moved quickly to adapt our services to meet head on the new environment and its challenges for people living with HIV,” said Louie. “With people sheltering at home, we are bringing GMHC’s services directly to the doorsteps of thousands. We’ve delivered more than 30,000 meals thus far. We are meeting the skyrocketing need for mental health services and legal services, substance use counseling, and HIV home testing. Videoconferencing and other technologies have been harnessed to provide help with supportive housing, financial management, and so much more, so that our clients’ vital resources continue uninterrupted.”

    “For those of us who were part of the early years of the AIDS epidemic, the plight of our country right now is at once unprecedented and strangely familiar,” said Miller. “Over the past 34 years, we have always stood, walked, and marched with all who oppose police brutality and the racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic disparities that persist in the criminal justice and healthcare systems of America. Protecting people who have been singled out, harassed, scapegoated, and underserved is what we do. It is our legacy and it remains our commitment.”

    AIDS Walk: Live at Home

    Sunday, July 19
    10 am ET at https://ny.aidswalk.net/ and https://www.gmhc.org/
    10 am PT at https://sf.aidswalk.net/ and https://prcsf.org/
    And on ABC7/KGO-TV


    ABC7 News Anchor Dan Ashley Will Emcee AIDS Walk for the 26th Time

    Dan Ashley, the recipient of numerous Emmy Awards and other honors over his distinguished career as a journalist and news anchor for ABC7, will emcee the San Francisco 2020 AIDS Walk: Live at Home. The virtual event will mark his 26th year serving as emcee. We recently caught up with Ashley to discuss his quarter century plus (!) of support for the AIDS Walk and its beneficiaries.

    San Francisco Bay Times: Your history with the AIDS Walk is extraordinary, given that you have supported it for so many years. What are your thoughts ahead of this year’s unprecedented virtual event?

    Dan Ashley: I am so proud that this is my 26th year as emcee. Of course, given the pandemic, it will be different this year. But a “virtual” event will not dampen our spirits nor our enthusiasm for this very important and still very necessary cause.

    San Francisco Bay Times: ABC7 is also a longtime sponsor of AIDS Walk SF. Will other members of your team be participating this year?

    Dan Ashley: ABC7 has been a proud sponsor of this event for more than thirty years and everyone at the station is so thrilled to continue this great relationship. Many of my colleagues are active participants in the Walk and that will be the case once again this year. One of the most gratifying things any of us do individually and collectively as a station is to be deeply involved in the community we care so much about. AIDS Walk is a highlight for all of us every year.

    San Francisco Bay Times: We know that you have worked nonstop through this pandemic time. Aside from the AIDS Walk, what other projects are you working on now?

    Dan Ashley: I have always been so grateful for the unique place in the community I am able to have simply because of my job. It’s a role I take seriously and am humbled and honored to have. During this very challenging time, I am proud to help support The Commonwealth Club as a longtime board member, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) as a longtime board member, Friends of Camp Concord, and the Oakland Symphony as well in that capacity. All of those organizations are working hard to get through the impact of the pandemic in creative ways and I am enjoying the challenge of trying to help them navigate those waters. My own foundation, Rock the CASA, to support underserved children in need, is facing the same challenges and I am working through those as well. But these are good problems to have in some respects—the opportunity to be creative and to find solutions to problems in order to make a difference in people’s lives.

    For more information about Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA: https://rockthecasa.org/

    Published on July 16, 2020