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Thousands Rally in Anaheim to Help People With HIV/AIDS

Event raises $480,000 to make vital health and human services available through local nonprofit organizations

IRVINE, Calif., May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 5,000 people converged on Angel Stadium of Anaheim Saturday, May 16 for Orange County's largest annual rally against HIV/AIDS. Donations from OC AIDS Walk 2009 reached $480,000.

"More than 8,000 men, women and children are living with HIV/AIDS in our community. Thanks to our OC AIDS Walk participants, eleven nonprofit organizations will receive the money they need to continue helping people living with the disease," said Phillip Yaeger, executive director/CEO of AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF) that organizes the fundraiser.

"Despite some real concerns about raising money in this economy, Orange Countians showed their generosity for an important cause even in tough times. In fact, we're hopeful that we may yet top $500,000 as additional donations come in," said Yaeger.

OC AIDS Walk included individual walkers and teams from area companies; schools; civic organizations; and churches, synagogues, temples and mosques. Donations were raised through pledges made on behalf of the participants. Rossy Jones, a Laguna Beach resident who walks in memory of her son who died of HIV/AIDS, was recognized for raising $33,000 last year and more than $150,000 in the past 15 years she has walked. This was the 23rd year OC AIDS Walk was held.

Vikki Vargas, Orange County bureau chief for NBC-TV LA, emceed the kick-off program, then asked KROQ radio personality Doc on the Roc to launch the event by cutting the starting-line ribbon.

The 5K course (3.1 miles) included a walk around the stadium before entering the facility and circling the field's warning track. Walkers had the unusual opportunity to watch themselves on the stadium's AngelVision big screen. After completing the walk, participants enjoyed entertainment and a food festival featuring vendors who donated 100 percent of the proceeds from their sales to OC AIDS Walk. Several OC AIDS Walk sponsors set up information and exhibit booths as well.

Organizations benefiting from the money raised at OC AIDS Walk include the following groups, ACTION (AIDS CareTeam in our Neighborhood), AEGIS, AIDS Services Foundation Orange County, The Center Orange County, Mercy House, New Life Serenity House, OC Cornerstone Outreach, Public Law Center, Shanti Orange County, Straight Talk Clinic, Inc. and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Education Center.

Support for OC AIDS Walk, financial and in-kind, came from a variety of sponsors. Among those aiding the fundraiser were Pacific Life, Disneyland, NBC Channel 4, Nordstrom, Time Warner Cable, ASICS, Wells Fargo, the City of Anaheim, and the PIMCO Foundation.

ASF is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985. Annually, the agency assists more than 1,600 people and their families that are either living with HIV or are impacted by the disease. Among the services ASF provides are food, transportation, housing, emergency financial assistance, mental health counseling, HIV testing, and HIV prevention and education programs. To learn more about ASF go to

    MEDIA CONTACTS:  Barbara Lohman
    AIDS Services Foundation
    949-809-5751 or
    714 342-7464 (cell phone)

    Ty Rose
    AIDS Services Foundation

SOURCE AIDS Services Foundation Orange County
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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