Empire State AIDS Ride Will Benefit Local and International Groups
The Empire State AIDS Ride will benefit HIV/AIDS groups in Rochester, N.Y., as well as international organizations, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports. The ride, which begins Aug. 18 in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and ends in New York City's Battery Park on Aug. 23, could raise more than $1.6 million for four groups, including AIDS Rochester, Doctors Without Borders, Health GAP and the African Services Committee. The AIDS ride organizers say they plan to give 100% of contributions to the groups. Other rides in California, Illinois, Alaska and Texas have "created controversy" over the amount of money that has gone to organizers of those races, the Democrat and Chronicle reports (Memmott, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 3/2). AIDS advocacy groups in Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Washington, D.C., recently announced that they plan to sponsor cycling events this summer to raise money for HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness efforts. Pallotta TeamWorks Inc., a group that raised more than $15 million dollars for AIDS organizations through their Heartland AIDS Ride from Minnesota to Chicago, last year stopped producing AIDS rides, citing a decline in participation. Pallota had been criticized for costly self-promotion and low returns on funds to charities. Organizers of the upcoming rides have promised that 60% to 85% of funds raised for the rides will go to AIDS prevention efforts; the Heartland AIDS Ride donated just 20% of funds raised (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 2/11). Marty Rosen, one of the organizers of the Empire ride, said, "[O]ne of the things I stressed with our beneficiaries is that they be upfront with us about how they will spend the money. There can't be any question. I don't want to find out that somebody got some nice carpeting with the funds" (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 3/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.