2nd Annual Concrete Hero Urban Obstacle Challenge
Concrete Hero announced the 2013 Urban Obstacle Challenge will be held at Los Angeles State Historic Park and will feature several new LA-themed obstacles and an extended five-mile route through the streets and alleyways of downtown. Funds raised through Concrete Hero support a range of care and prevention programs by AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) to improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and reduce the incidence of infection in LA.
"We're gearing up for an entirely new Concrete Hero and are thrilled to announce some of the new aspects of this year's event," said Craig E. Thompson, executive director at APLA.
"Given the overwhelming popularity of last year's event, we've kept and enhanced some of the iconic and thrilling LA-themed obstacles like 'The Hollywood Sign Climb,' 'Carmageddon,' and 'Tar-Pit Traverse.' In addition, we've added several more obstacles and surprises over a longer, five-mile route through downtown Los Angeles, which starts and finishes at Los Angeles State Historic Park," Thompson added.
Funds raised through Concrete Hero are put to use immediately by APLA and support vital care programs such as the Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries, which distribute more than 160,000 bags of groceries to people facing HIV/AIDS and hunger in Los Angeles or APLA Dental Services, which offers more than 21,000 no-cost and low-cost, life-restoring dental procedures to people living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County.
Thompson says there are over 60,000 people living with HIV/AIDS countywide.
"Though many of those locally who live with HIV/AIDS have access to life-sustaining medical treatments, they simply cannot afford essentials like food, safe housing, dental care, and much more. With those basic needs unmet, too many struggle to manage the burdens of daily living, let alone the complications of managing a chronic and still-deadly disease like HIV. In addition, many youth today view HIV as a problem of the past. But in fact, infection rates among youth are on the rise, so funds raised through Concrete Hero will support prevention and education programs across Los Angeles County that target those at greatest risk, including youth along with men and women of color," Thompson added.
Last year, nearly 1,000 Concrete Hero participants raised over $400,000 for APLA's life-sustaining direct services.
Thompson says APLA designed the event to engage people of all ages and athletic abilities to become heroes in their home town.
"In 2002, my long-time, best friend Kevin told me in confidence that he had AIDS," said Fred Arens, a two-time participant and co-captain of "Kick A$$," a team of participants which raised over $49,000 for the 2012 event.
"Kevin called me from his bedside during his final hours as he died of pneumonia; it's a day and a conversation I will never forget. Today, my partner Jason and I are passionate about raising money for AIDS-related initiatives because for us, it's personal. We've completed various walks, dances, rides, and marathons over the years in support of APLA but never anything like this. Concrete Hero has mass appeal and is unlike anything that exists in fundraising. We're determined to recruit more people and raise more money than we did last year, so APLA can then help improve more lives of those living right here in LA with HIV/AIDS," Arens added.
"I want to personally invite everyone to join us for our second annual Concrete Hero! Talk with your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues, and encourage each to register today! Visit concretehero.org or call 323-462-HERO (4376)," said Thompson.
To register, donate or receive more information on Concrete Hero, visit concretehero.org or call 323-462-HERO (4376).