AIDS Walk New York (AWNY) will take place on Sunday, June 7, 2020. Through its Community Partnership Program (CPP), GMHC helps fellow AIDS organizations raise funds for their own programs. Since 1997 the funds raised by our AREA team (#0010) have helped us to continue producing our events and raising awareness about AIDS in addition to supporting GMHC’s programs and services. With all of the precautions having to be taken since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Walk will have to be a virtual one - but AREA and GMHC are still greatly in need of your financial support.
On behalf of AREA’s Board and Volunteers, as well as GMHC’s, I want to offer our heartfelt thanks to all of you who’ve supported us in years past. This is the 24th year that AREA is participating in the Walk and the seventh time that we’re doing so without Larry Sullivan leading AREA’s fundraising efforts. Larry raised more than $4000 each year and, as a MACY’S employee, they matched all of the funds he raised for AREA and GMHC. We’re very grateful that Larry’s partner of more than thirty years, Eugenio Giusti, will again be raising funds for our team.. We are once again dedicating our AREA team effort in Larry’s memory for his inspiration and many years of extraordinary support. In addition, we dedicate our AIDS Walk fundraising in memory of John Craven, Tom Faucett, Raul Martinez and John Sakai-Johnson.
This is the only time of the year in which AREA conducts a fundraising appeal. I’m grateful that, even though I continue to face some serious challenges to my health, AREA is able to continue its mission and events, including our World AIDS Day efforts. The support we receive from AIDS Walk helps us produce all of our events and initiatives. On December 1st we will present our 29th Out of the Darkness Candlelight March and Gathering in observance of World AIDS Day. Our Planning Committee has already met and, although we hope to be holding our World AIDS Day events as we have always done, we plan on learning from GMHC and Heritage of Pride (HOP) as they produce this year’s AIDS Walk and Pride March virtually, in case this should still be necessary in December. Last year AREA joined HOP and our Out of the Darkness Coalition partners from GMHC and International AIDS Prevention Initiative (IAPI) in presenting many AIDS Memorial Quilt Displays around New York City in conjunction with Stonewall 50/World Pride, as well as a Candlelight Vigil at the New York City AIDS Memorial. This past January Barbara Martinez, David Charner and Hup! Productions presented FOR THE LOVE OF FRIENDS, a unique theatrical piece written by Cara Consilvio and myself that is based upon on a documentary film about my life and work that they are in the process of producing. The inaugural three performances were sold out and received standing ovations. We held talkbacks afterwards, for which three quarters of the audiences remained after each performance. This is by no means all that AREA hopes to be involved in over the years ahead to raise awareness, to archive the history of the AIDS crisis and to advocate for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS locally, nationally and internationally – and why your support is so needed! For now be vigilant, lead by example and adhere to the guidelines established by your local government. This is one of the best ways that you can do your part to help end this current health crisis.
Please join our team and encourage your family and friends to join us as well. Also please inquire if your company has a matching gift program for the funds you raise, as our AREA team honoree, Larry Sullivan, was able to do for so many years with MACY’S. You can also support our efforts by making a contribution here to our AREA team (#0010) or sending a check made payable to AIDS Walk New York or AWNY. Please send your check to our AREA address (2350 Broadway #1016 New York, NY 10024-3214.) We have until June 26, 2020 to submit all donations to GMHC and have them count towards our Team’s total. There is a 24-hour front desk at our building if you want to drop them off in person but please do so no later than June 23rd to ensure that we have enough time to get them to GMHC. If you’re mailing them, please allow sufficient time for us to receive them ahead of the June 26th deadline. Please feel free to make your donations in memory of loved ones lost to AIDS. We add their names to our Memorial List of Names that is read every year during Out of the Darkness and other appropriate events.
I’m sure that those of us whom have been involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS for many years have a lot we can contribute to ending this new pandemic – we’ve just got to figure out what and how! My dear friend and colleague from the AIDS Memorial Quilt, Gert McMullin, has been making and donating masks made from remnant Quilt materials. You never know – the answer could be right in front of us – what I do know is that we couldn’t keep on doing what we do for more than 30 years now without you and your support!
Brent Nicholson Earle, Founder & President
The American Run for the End of AIDS, Inc. (AREA)