By Pat Dean
March 29, 2010
March 29, 2010 -- Beverly Hills, CA (Cable Muse Network) -- Macy’s Passport presented AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) with a check for $100,000 at the "White Night" event Friday evening in Beverly Hills. The department store collaborated with OUT Magazine to present the men's designer shopping party with refreshments, music, modeling, exclusive savings that included supporters of APLA including celebrities Gina Ravera, Dee Wallace, John Lloyd Young, Jason Dottley, Del Shores and Ann Walker.
"In California all of the funding for Aids prevention and education has been completely obliterated so it’s a challenge to educate people so they don’t get HIV in the first place and then if they do we need to support the services that are already overextended," said a passionate Young, the recent Tony Award winner.
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. Marking 25 years of service in 2008, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach.
"I've been involved with APLA for so long. I got involved through Madonna Cacciatore, who was an acting student of mine and I’ve been a supporter for anything they do everywhere, explained Dee Wallace, who recently appeared in Extraordinary Measures. "We have to rise up, raise consciousness and take care of our brothers and sisters."
After the event, Gabriel McGowan, Communications Manager at AIDS Project Los Angeles told CMN, "Macy's and American Express Passport are a tremendous philanthropic achievement and an extraordinary display of fashion and style. AIDS Project Los Angeles is privileged to benefit from the event, and Macy's and American Express, along with all Passport supporters, should take pride in the knowledge that they are changing lives."
When Cable Muse Network (CMN) asked Gabriel how the donation can make a difference to APLA and persons with Aids, he responded, "In 2009, the governor slashed California's HIV/AIDS budget by more than $85 million. This was a crippling cut to programs and services that serve as a lifeline to the poor and vulnerable who are affected by HIV/AIDS. At APLA, we must rely on the support of private donors like Macy's and American Express now more than ever. We're putting this $100,000 gift to work to offer food, dental care, housing help, counseling and more to Angelinos who are HIV-positive."
Since its beginnings in 1982, Macy’s Passport shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles have raised more than $27 million for HIV/AIDS organizations.
McGowan added, "The most devastating HIV/AIDS-related state budget cut in 2009 was to California's HIV prevention budget: It was completely eliminated. The state now allots absolutely no money to life-saving HIV prevention efforts. The support of our generous private donors, like Macy's and American Express, will allow our work to find and fight the causes of HIV to continue."
Ben Cable contributed to this article.
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