Aid for AIDS of Nevada (AFAN) again set fundraising records when they hosted the 23rd Annual AIDS Walk Las Vegas at UNLV with entertainment legends Penn & Teller serving as grand marshals and leading the Penn & Teller Challenge team for the 12th consecutive year on Sunday. More than 12,000 supporters joined AFAN for the 2013 walk and collectively raised $471,000. The Penn &Teller Challenge set a new fundraising record with 1,764 walkers raising a total of $224,140.
Walgreens returned for a second consecutive year to serve as a presenting sponsor for AIDS Walk Las Vegas and provided a pivotal role in fundraising efforts. Throughout February and March, local Walgreens stores raised $120,055 for AIDS Walk, which was presented to AFAN during the event’s opening ceremonies. Also announced during this year’s opening ceremonies was the return of AFAN’s annual Black and White Party, now entering its 27th year, to the Hard Rock Hotel for another celebration.
In a new fundraising component for this year’s event, AFAN extended their fundraising efforts to benefit other nonprofit organizations serving individuals with HIV/AIDS. AFAN split 50 percent of the $5,275 raised by nonprofit teams, including: The Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada, Golden Rainbow, Human Rights Campaign, Nevada AIDS Project, Planned Parenthood of Southern Nevada, and Rebuilding All Goals Efficiently (RAGE).
Walkers at the 2013 walk enjoyed gorgeous weather and exciting entertainment throughout the day, including a performance of “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Strip headliners Rock of Ages and performances from other notable Las Vegas Strip artists such as Melody Sweets of Absinthe, The Australian Bee Gees and the casts of Fantasy and Thunder from Down Under. Music for the event was provided by DJ Axis, while CBS Radio personalities Lauren Michaels of 98.5 KLUC, Heather Collins of Mix 94.1 and Chris Jackson of KXTE 107.5 kept the crowd enamored with their wit and energy.
The event was co-hosted by Jaymes Vaughan and James Davis stars of Chippendales and fan favorites from CBS’ “Amazing Race,” and local TV anchor Chris Saldaña. Various government officials came to show their support for AFAN, including Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Congresswoman Dina Titus, and representatives from the offices of Congressman Steven Horsford, Congressman Joe Heck and Senator Harry Reid.
AFAN also partnered with the Human Rights Campaign to present the Sixth Annual HRC Community Picnic immediately following AIDS Walk, with 10 percent of sales being donated back to AFAN. Walkers were treated to an array dining options including food-truck fare from Chi-Town Hustler, Fat Daddy’s Ice Cream, Curbside Café, Sauced, Ben & Jerry’s, Señor Blues, Slidin’ Thru, Hawaiian Shaved Ice, Sausagefest and Bad Ass Coffee.
As AFAN’s largest fundraiser of the year, all proceeds from the AIDS Walk will go towards assisting and educating more than 4,000 men, women and children infected with HIV and AIDS in Southern Nevada.
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