A record number of people have embarked on a seven-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, raising over $14 million to fight HIV and AIDS in the process.
About 2,755 participants from 44 states and 18 countries are participating in this year’s California AIDS/LifeCycle race, which began on June 2, according to Towleroad.
“I’m absolutely astounded and enormously grateful for the 20-year fundraising record set by this year’s riders and roadies,” LA Gay and Lesbian Center CEO Lorri L Jean said in a statement. “Especially since the need for these funds has never been greater.”
Founded as the California AIDS Ride in 1993, by the end of this year’s event cyclists will have collectively ridden 20 million miles to help end AIDS -- that’s the equivalent to traveling back and forth to the moon more than 40 times, or around the world 800 times.
Proceeds from the event go toward the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV and AIDS related services of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center.
“It’s difficult to find a community more dedicated to a cause than the participants of AIDS/LifeCycle, and this year’s record fundraising shows it,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Neil Giuliano.
“At a time when HIV and AIDS services face potentially devastating cuts at all levels of government, it’s tremendously encouraging to see the AIDS/LifeCycle community step up in such a substantial way to make sure we can continue to provide life- saving services to all people living with or at risk for HIV.”
South Florida’s version of the AIDS ride, the SMART Ride, has raised over $860,000 in its last year.