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GMHC Launches First-Ever 'Light Up New York' Initiative in Run-Up to 29th Annual AIDS Walk New York

Isabella Rossellini to Host Lighting Ceremony at Empire State as New York City Skyline Goes Red for AIDS Awareness
4.28.2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contacts:

Ben Fordham | AIDS Walk New York | 212.807.9255

Krishna Stone | GMHC | 212.367.1016

 

 

 

New York, NY--GMHC announced plans for the first-annual "Light Up New York" initiative taking place from May 12 - 18, the week leading up to this year's highly anticipated AIDS Walk New York. Participating partners will light the exteriors of their buildings, homes, and offices to make the city's skyline glow red. This weeklong effort will help raise awareness that HIV/AIDS remains a serious public health challenge, encourage others to take part in the fight against AIDS, and make a powerful statement in support of the more than 107,000 New Yorkers living with the disease.

Film legend Isabella Rossellini will host the Empire State Building's high profile lighting ceremony as part of the effort on Thursday, May 15. "I am honored to take part in this important program that will send the message that HIV/AIDS is not over," says Rossellini. "With a cure still out of reach, we must not lose sight of the fact many thousands of people living with, and affected by, HIV and AIDS in New York City and beyond rely on organizations like GMHC every day to stay healthy and get the vital care and services they need."

In addition to the Empire State Building, other lighting partners include 7 World Trade Center, Bloomberg Tower, The Helmsley Building, The New York Stock Exchange, and Time Warner Cable.

"Light Up New York" is an expansion of the Empire State Building's lighting tradition, which has over the years turned its spire red to observe important occasions related to HIV/AIDS awareness, including AIDS Walk New York. It is spearheaded by GMHC Board Member, Osvaldo Perdomo, who saw an opportunity to take the lighting city-wide. "With our plan already in place to 'go red' with the Empire State Building this year, and given the community-driven nature of the AIDS Walk, it seemed fitting to open up the lighting tradition to everyone," shares Perdomo. "Why not light up an entire city block in red? Why not light New York City's whole skyline to raise HIV/AIDS awareness, support those living or affected by HIV/AIDS, honor those who lost the battle and minimize stigma? New Yorkers are leading the way, and this beautiful city will Light Up and build an AIDS-free generation!"

"Turning New York's iconic cityscape red is a perfect way to honor New York's most iconic AIDS fundraising event, and shed light on a disease that is still fueled by stigma," said Janet Weinberg, Interim Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "Our message is simple: New Yorkers will not leave people living with HIV behind."

Organizations interested in joining the "Light Up New York" initiative should contact Andi Dube at 212.807.9255 (WALK). Everyone is invited to participate by lighting their homes red or wearing red during May 12 - 18.

 

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About GMHC
GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported, and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS. We provide prevention and care services to men, women, and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City. We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide. Our mission: GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplifts the lives of all affected. For more information, please visit gmhc.org.

About AIDS Walk New York
Since 1986, AIDS Walk New York has raised more than $132 million for HIV programs and services in the tri-state area, and has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in the world. In 2013 alone, 30,000 participants, many of whom were members of more than 3,000 corporate and community teams, raised over $5.5 million for GMHC and 40 other tri-state area AIDS service organizations. For more information, please visit aidswalk.net/newyork..

About MZA Events
AIDS Walk New York was founded in 1986 by Craig R. Miller and his organization of activists, MZA Events. Miller is the AIDS Walk originator and has produced hundreds of public service campaigns and fundraising events, generating more than $377 million for major AIDS organizations throughout the country. For more information, please visit mzaevents.com.

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