Participants in California’s 2013 AIDS/LifeCycle race begin their 545-mile bicycle journey today from San Francisco to Los Angeles having raised a record-setting $14.2 million this year to support San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV and AIDS related services of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
‘I’m absolutely astounded and enormously grateful for the 20-year fundraising record set by this year’s riders and roadies,’ said LA Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L Jean, ‘especially since the need for these funds has never been greater.’
‘Today we have the tools to stop the spread of the disease and to help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives, but the epidemic is far from over. The AIDS/LifeCycle community, which includes riders and roadies of all ages and from 18 different countries, is essential to funding the Center’s life-saving services for people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.’
By the time this year’s AIDS/LifeCycle ends, participants will have marked two huge milestones – two decades of riding and 20 million miles ridden.
Since the event was founded as the California AIDS Ride in 1993, cyclists will have collectively ridden 20 million miles to help end AIDS and provide care for those living with the virus. 20 million miles is equivalent to traveling back and forth to the moon more than 40 times, or around the world 800 times.
‘It’s difficult to find a community more dedicated to a cause than the participants of AIDS/LifeCycle, and this year’s record fundraising shows it,’ said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano.
‘At a time when HIV and AIDS services face potentially devastating cuts at all levels of government, it’s tremendously encouraging to see the AIDS/LifeCycle community step up in such a substantial way to make sure we can continue to provide life- saving services to all people living with or at risk for HIV.’
And with this year’s event not even complete, registration has been opened for the 2014 AIDS/Lifecycle race which will take place between June 1–7 next year.
Last year screen legend Doris Day sent a personal message to riders in memory of her friend Rock Hudson who died of AIDS.