Debate Over Proceeds From California AIDSRide Turns Into ‘Bicycle War’ as Two Groups Form Separate AIDS Ride
The California AIDSRide has turned into a "burgeoning bicycle war" as three groups head to court to settle a debate over the proceeds of the event, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation have co-sponsored and received proceeds from the last eight California AIDSRides, which are organized by Pallotta Teamworks. After becoming "embroiled in a dispute" with Pallotta over the amount of money they received from this year's AIDSRide, the two organizations decided to host their own ride, called AIDS/LifeCycle, scheduled for May 13-19. In the meantime, Pallotta has designated AIDS Project Los Angeles as the new beneficiary of its AIDSRide, which will be held June 2-8. Both rides will go from San Francisco to Los Angeles. On Thursday, promoters from the California AIDSRide announced they would go to court to stop the AIDS/LifeCycle ride from taking place. Norm Bowling, senior vice president for Pallotta, said that his group feels it has no choice but to file a lawsuit, adding that Pallotta feels it is owed "large sums of money" from the groups for costs associated with this year's AIDSRide and next year's event. Officials from the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and SFAF say that "unexpected cost overruns cut into profits" from the California AIDSRide and have "complained" that Pallotta's cross-promotion of other events such as a breast cancer walk have "diminished the impact of this year's ride." Bowling said that security and logistics expenses and a "light turnout" account for the California AIDSRide's extra costs, but added that the two organizations received approximately 52% of the $11 million raised from last year's ride. In its new arrangement with APLA, Pallotta has included new arrangements to "protect" the organization's profits.
Stop the Fighting
Some AIDS activists are concerned that the fighting between the three groups will hurt fundraising efforts. "The donor community will be confused and disillusioned, riders will be split up and confused, and people in these little towns won't know what to make of two groups coming through within weeks of each other," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said. Jeff Haber, co-chair of the board of directors for APLA, said his group would welcome SFAF and the Gay & Lesbian Center back as co-sponsors (Pool, Los Angeles Times, 12/7).