Alex Newell, known for his work on “Glee,” wowed the crowd at the opening ceremony. | DONNA ACETO
The 28th annual AIDS Walk New York, which raises funds for Gay Men’s Health Crisis and more than 40 other service organizations in the tri-state area, drew a crowd of more than 30,000 people to a very soggy Central Park for a 10-kilometer outing aimed at putting the HIV epidemic back in front of the public eye — even if just for one weekend in late spring.
According to figures released by GMHC, this year’s Walk raised about $5.5 million, down from last year’s total of roughly $6 million.
State Senator Brad Hoylman and his daughter Sylvia at the AIDS Walk opening ceremony. | DONNA ACETO
Dr. Marjorie Hill, GMHC’s CEO, emphasized that the agency “continues to work hard to fill those gaps” created by “deep cuts due to the federal sequester [that] threaten HIV/AIDS programs here in New York and across the country.”
Among notable participants at this year’s opening ceremony were Laura Benanti (“Go On”), Mondo Guerra (“Project Runway”), Megan Hilty (“Smash”), Jack Mackenroth (“Project Runway”), two-time Tony and two-time Emmy Award-winner Bebe Neuwirth, and Michael Urie (“Buyer & Cellar.”).
R&B singer Martha Wash closed the ceremony with a performance of “You'll Never Walk Alone.”
The crowd at a very rainy AIDS Walk opening ceremony. | DONNA ACETO