Students, staff, and alumni represented Emerson College Los Angeles in the 29th annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles on October 13.
The 10K walk benefited AIDS Project Los Angeles. The organization is dedicated to providing help to anyone affected by HIV, especially those living in poverty.
This year, the walk raised more than $2.5 million with 250,000 walkers. Emerson walkers raised more than $2,000.
Senior Executive Director of Emerson College Los Angeles Kevin Bright ’76 said he is looking for ways to get the school more involved in the community. He saw a banner advertising the AIDS Walk while driving down Lincoln Boulevard.
“It just kind of hit me,” he said. “It’s a perfect opportunity for an inaugural event to bring alumni, students, and parents together for something worthwhile.”
Within two weeks, team captains Cara Ostrow ’13 and Chelsey Moody ’14 brought together 30 people for the walk.
All of the participants wore purple “Emerson LA” team shirts created by one of the “Boston Strong” T-shirt creators, Nick Reynolds ’14, who is currently attending Emerson College Los Angeles.
“Everyone who was volunteering at the AIDS Walk had megaphones,” said Ostrow, who is the office assistant and event coordinator of the Emerson LA Program. “It felt very much like orientation with them cheering and us cheering back.”
Moody, a Writing, Literature and Publishing major and resident assistant in the LA Program, liked having the opportunity to walk alongside alumni.
“Actually getting to talk to them and hear their advice really was encouraging,” she said.
The rest of the walk consisted of pastries, pizza, and an impromptu bar mitzvah.
A rabbi approached one of the walkers, Pat Lambert ’11, producer to Maria Menounos ’00, the co-host of Extra, and asked him if he was Jewish and had ever had a bar mitzvah.
Before long, Lambert was wearing a yarmulke. “All of a sudden there was a mini-religious ceremony in the middle of LA,” said Ostrow.
After the three-hour walk, the team successfully finished in West Hollywood.
Bright says Emerson plans to participate in the walk again next year. “It’s on the calendar,” he said.
The team is accepting online donations on its page until November 8.