amfAR’s LifeRide Cycles From Florida to D.C. for AIDS Conference
On July 14, participants in amfAR’s LifeRide, a nine day charity motorcycle event from July 13-20, pulled into Central Florida on their way from Miami to Washington, D.C., to raise funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS. amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, partnered with New York-based skin and hair care company Kiehl’s Since 1851 to raise and donate $100,000 to groups at eight stops along the way, ending up in the nation’s capital on the eve of the International AIDS Conference.
The 10-day, 1,800 mile motorcycle ride is just one of the ways that Kiehl’s supports AIDS charities. They have also pledged to donate $1 to amfAR for each new Facebook fan.
"The support of HIV/AIDS organizations is one of Kiehl’s three charitable pillars. Since 2001, I am proud to say that we have raised more than $2 million to help find a cure for this epidemic," said Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s Since 1851.
amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost saw the value in the LifeRide annual event, admitting that it was the catalyst for him to get his own motorcycle license. He will join Salgardo at the front of the ride.
"Kiehl’s has been a valuable and longtime supporter of amfAR’s vital research work, and the funds raised through the Kiehl’s LifeRide will bring us that much closer to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Kiehl’s on such a unique event," said Frost. Donna Fuchs of the Northeast Florida AIDS Network knows the importance of fundraisers like LifeRide.
"These fundraisers are very important to us as we still have programs that are either underfunded or that rely on donations, sponsors or contributions. The donation from LifeRide 2012 will be used to continue to stock our pantry," said Fuchs.
The majority of Northeast Florida AIDS Network clients live on less than $1,000 a month. The $5,000 donated to Northeast Florida AIDS Network will provide food to approximately 660 persons and make possible an estimated 8,000 meals. Money is also used to purchase walkers, canes, durable medical equipment, fans for the summer and blankets and heaters for the winter.
According to Fuchs, HIV/AIDS is a major concern in Florida, which has the country’s third highest HIV prevalence rates, and is one of the top three states with the highest number of reported cases, with 100,000 people living with HIV/AIDS. And Jacksonville is in the top three cities in the Sunshine State for reported cases of HIV. Florida currently has a waitlist for persons needing medication assistance through the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
LifeRide Ends in D.C. to Launch International AIDS Conference
Celebrities including amfAR’s Global Fundraising Chairman Sharon Stone will meet in the nation’s capital today, July 20, to celebrate the final stop on the LifeRide tour.
Joining Stone will be notable motorcycle enthusiasts, including actors John Corbett, Tricia Helfer, Katee Sackhoff, Tyson Beckford, Teddy Sears, Christopher Redman, Marguerite Moreau and Grant Reynold, photographer Timothy White, custom motorcycle builder Paul Cox and artist Conrad Leach.
Meeting riders will be a group of D.C.’s finest chefs and motorcycle enthusiasts, including Chef Mike Isabella of Graffiato and Bandolero, Chef RJ Cooper of Rogue 24, Chef Robert Wiedmaier of Marchel’s, Brasserie Beck and Mussel Bar, and Chef David Guss of Bayou Bakery.
Salgardo said he was glad to be a part of such an important mission.
"I’m humbled that as a company, we not only raise funds for amfAR, but we get personally involved with the fight against HIV/AIDS. It’s especially significant that we will end the ride in Washington, D.C. as the International AIDS Conference begins. To be a part of such a moment in history is monumental," said Salgardo.
Corporate sponsor Kiehl’s invites the public to join them from 6-8 p.m. at the Kiehl’s Georgetown store this evening, or tomorrow, July 21 at the Falls Church EagleRider store, or the Kiehl’s Tysons Corner Center store in McLean, Virginia. Kiehl’s will offer a 15 percent discount on all store purchases nationwide, through July 22.
The International AIDS Conference is the premier meeting for those working in the field of HIV/AIDS, as well as policymakers, people living with HIV/AIDS and others committed to ending the epidemic. The conference features abstract-driven breakout sessions, daily plenary sessions, professional development workshops and components such as the Global Village and the Youth Program.
Leaders from the worlds of science, diplomacy, politics, philanthropy and entertainment are speaking at AIDS 2012 the International AIDS Conference including President Bill Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Former U.S. First Lady Laura Bush, HRH Mette-Marit, Crown Princess of Norway, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, Nobel Laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, philanthropist Bill Gates, artist and humanitarian Elton John and actress Whoopi Goldberg.
The conference attracts between 20,000-25,000 delegates from nearly 200 countries, among them scientists, researchers, community leaders, advocates and activists, government and business leaders. This is the first time the conference has been held in the U.S. in 22 years, thanks to President Barack Obama’s late 2009 lifting of the ban on people with HIV/AIDS entering the country.
The president has said he will not attend the conference, a move that has been criticized by many, who note that it will be held mere blocks away from the White House. While no sitting president has attended any of the three previous conferences held in the U.S., critics note that unlike previous presidents, Obama would be welcomed.
They also believe that as a member of the African-American community, which makes up nearly half of new HIV infections in the U.S., and as the son of a Kenyan, the sub-Saharan African region that has suffered the most from HIV, the president is missing out on a chance to cement his role as the global leader intent on ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
For more info, visit http://www.amfar.org/Articles/In_The_Community/2010/Kiehl%E2%80%99s_LifeRide_for_amfAR/