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AIDS Walk Raises $5.1M for GMHC

By Mathew Katz | May 20, 2014 8:24am
 AIDS Walk New York raised just over $5.1 million on Sunday, which is down from past years. 
AIDS Walk New York raised just over $5.1 million on Sunday, which is down from past years. 
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CHELSEA — Sunday's AIDS Walk raised a better-than-expected $5.1 million, according to its main beneficiary, GMHC.

The $5,105,276 raised by the annual event was more than organizers had anticipated, but it was still the lowest amount raised in the past decade, the nonprofit organization said.

A crowd of about 35,000 participants took part in the 10-kilometer walk, and with money still coming in, GMHC expects to take in a total of more than $5.2 million, a spokesman said.

Last year's AIDS Walk took in $5.4 million, the 2012 event raised $5.8 million and 2011's walk took in $6.4 million, according to a spokesman.

Many of the city's AIDS organizations have seen donations fall over the past several years as causes like marriage equality have drawn more attention and cash from New York's LGBT community. A GMHC spokesman also attributed the decrease to a nationwide drop in revenue from walks.

After last year's AIDS Walk, GMHC nearly ran a deficit and was forced to cut salaries and furlough workers.

While some of the cash raised goes to outside partner organizations, much of the AIDS Walk money goes to GMHC, covering costs including $389,000 in monthly rent for its largely empty West 33rd Street office. Board members and incoming CEO Kelsey Louie have said they will find a way to lower overhead costs, by either renting out part of the space or moving to another office entirely.

This year's AIDS Walk got major support from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who spoke at the opening ceremony — the first New York mayor to participate in more than a decade.