March 2, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

AIDS/LifeCycle 2022 Needs More Volunteers

AIDS LifeCycle is back with more than $4 million raised so far for the 2022 ride benefitting the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the 2020 and 2021 in-person rides to be cancelled but the world’s largest single event HIV/AIDS fundraiser is set to make its return this year June 5–11.

While fundraising is off to a great start, there are still plenty of volunteers, also known as Roadies, needed to work behind the scenes of the 545-mile bike ride that begins in San Francisco and makes its way down to Los Angeles over the seven days.

“If you’re the kind of person who thrives from helping others and working towards a positive goal, then there is nothing better than this,” says Terry Asten Bennett, who volunteers as a bus liaison captain. “We’ve got people who are going out there marking the roads, people setting up the camp each day, a complete medical team, route teams, food teams. It’s literally everything you would need to create a moving city. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that it takes!”

It takes approximately 650 volunteers to successfully move the event down the coast each day with overnight stops in Santa Cruz, King City, Paso Robles, Santa Maria, Lompoc, and Ventura. The volunteers are divided into 32 Roadie teams for jobs that vary in skill and physicality.

While some Roadie teams are already filled, Wendy Hiller, who spent six years as a volunteer Roadie before joining the AIDS/LifeCycle staff as Roadie Coordinator, says at  least 25 more volunteers are needed for the medical team including doctors, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses. More people are also needed for the advance set-up, pack-up, bike parking, and food service teams.

During the most recent in-person ride in 2019, participants raised more than $16.7 million—the highest fundraising amount in the event’s history. While roadies have no fundraising minimum, the community of volunteers typically raises more than $700,000 each year.

To volunteer or register for the ride go to www.aidslifecycle.org

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