After 24 years, AIDS Walk is still pulling big money, but this year’s number was down. Yesterday’s Walk in New York raised $5.6 million in contributions for AIDS care and prevention. That’s shy of the $7 million plus the event raised last year, and the $6.9 million raised in 2007. In fact, this was the only year, except for 1995, Walk-day receipts have declined since the first AIDS Walk in 1986.
AIDS Walk founder and producer Craig R. Miller seemed to acknowledge the effect of the economy on contributions in his statement. “For forty-five thousand participants, and hundreds of thousands of their sponsors,” he said, “to have raised $5,603,409 in the midst of this historically difficult recession, leaves me in awe of these GMHC supporters.” (Supporters can still make a general donation to AIDS Walk here.)
“We had especially yucky weather when we began in the morning — gray and damp — but things got better as the day wore on,” reports walker Steve Reed. Despite the overcast, Hillary Duff, Carson Kressley, Brooke Smith of Grey’s Anatomy, Charles Rangel, Anthony Wiener, and other celebrities and politicians joined the marchers on the 6.5 mile route.