LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Concrete Hero announced its second annual race raised over half a million dollars for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) on Sunday. Funds raised through the chip-timed, 5 mile race in Downtown Los Angeles support APLA's vital care and prevention programs, which help improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS and reduce the incidence of infection in Los Angeles County.
"We extend our gratitude and well wishes to this incredible community of race participants, event staff, volunteers, and their extended networks of family and supporters for helping us make the second annual Concrete Hero a success," said Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director at APLA.
"For over 30 years, APLA has been working to improve the lives of thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County. We are already using these vital funds to help more than 62,000 people currently living in LA County with HIV/AIDS to get access to the vital care programs they need to stay alive. Programs include the Vance North Necessities of Life Program, which distributes more than 160,000 bags of groceries each year in Los Angeles to those facing HIV and hunger; APLA Dental Services, which offers more than 12,000 low to no-cost dental procedures each year to people who are HIV-positive and cannot afford the critical dental care they need. Funds raised also power the APLA Health & Wellness Center, which offers a comprehensive range of services including prevention programs, HIV and STD testing and treatment, as well as counseling and other programs," Thompson added.
In two years, Concrete Hero raised over $900K for APLA. The annual race incorporates iconic elements and landmarks of Southern California as obstacles along a chip-timed, 5 mile route through Downtown.
This year, participants climbed over 12 parked cars and 4 buses in the "Carmageddon" obstacle, scaled nearly two stories over a mock "Hollywood Sign," and swung over massive mud pits in the "Tar Pit Traverse" obstacle. Other surprise obstacles included the "Subway to Nowhere" which featured two massive slides and culvert subway tunnels, "Natural Disaster Alley" with "June Gloom" foam and "Santa Ana Winds" generated by industrial-sized fans and "Rubber Canyon" which featured over 1,000 tires for participants to hop through and climb over.
The race start and finish took place at Los Angeles State Historic Park and afterwards included an LA-themed block party with music, beverages, and food trucks.
"I have first-hand experience with all of the good that AIDS Project Los Angeles has done for my friends and now, my own family," said Anthony Gordon of Los Angeles.
"Over the last few years, my husband Roger became very ill very quick, and suddenly we became a one-income family struggling to take care of our home, get the food we needed, and we had no means to get Roger to and from his vital medical & counseling appointments. Thankfully, APLA came to our rescue. They now help us each week to maintain our home so Roger can remain healthy, receive in-home medical care & counseling and they even help us to navigate a myriad of confusing extensive paperwork through a case manager. The support from APLA and their amazing team of people has vastly improved our quality of life, and that is why I am doing Concrete Hero," Gordon added.
Thompson says Concrete Hero is specifically designed to appeal to all kinds of people, and the event is meant to engage a new and younger demographic with the range of services APLA provides.
"Levels of infection are on the rise among youth who today are viewing HIV/AIDS as a problem of the past," said Thompson.
"Obstacle course runs and competitions are mainstream and are typically held outside the city. By introducing an event right here in the heart of our city and adding a fundraising component, we are enabling more people to participate, fundraise and ultimately engage with our services at APLA," Thompson added.
To donate or access additional information on Concrete Hero Los Angeles, visit www.concretehero.org.
AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct services, prevention education, and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation.
In 2013, APLA marks its 30th year of operation and is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach. Annually, the agency provides direct services and HIV prevention education to more than 11,000 clients in Los Angeles, a county with the second-largest HIV/AIDS epidemic in the nation. For more information, visit apla.org.
2013 EVENT PHOTOS & VIDEOS: CLICK HERE
Gary D. Turner
Concrete Hero Communications Director
SOURCE Concrete Hero