Saddle Up to Fight AIDS

By April 10, 2011

Riders light out for Griffith Park on the 2010 AIDS benefit.

Cowboys and cowgirls, get ready for the 6th Annual Saddle Up L.A. AIDS Benefit Trail Ride on July 9. The leisurely trek through Griffith Park benefits the Life Group L.A., which provides vital education, empowerment and support to those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS, through programs like the POZ Life Weekend Seminars.

Organizers say the event is designed to raise awareness of the fact that the AIDS pandemic is not over: “The ride is an affirmation of the power of compassion and a demonstration that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.”

The honorary trail guides this year are “international dance diva” and singer/songwriter Pepper MaShay and, from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” Ongina and Tammie Brown. After the ride, participants will gather at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank for a country barbeque dinner, along with a variety show, silent auction and awards.

The goal is to raise $60,000 on this year's ride.

Sunnie Rose, executive director and co-founder of the Life Group L.A., says that while the nonprofit sector has been hard hit by the economic downturn, she has high hopes for this year’s ride. “Last year we had 82 riders and raised $48,000, which was down significantly from 2009. This year we hope to raise $60,000.”

Check in begins at 3:45 p.m. at Diamond Bar Stables in Glendale, and the two-hour guided ride begins at 5 p.m. Cost is $75 for riders with their own horses. Diamond Bar Horse Rentals has 75 horses available on a first-come, first-served basis for $125. Non-riders, families and friends are welcome to join the fun and help raise funds at the barbeque dinner (dinner is $45). Discounts are available to those who’ve ridden at a past Saddle Up L.A. event.

For more information or to register, go to http://saddleupla2011.kintera.org or contact Sunnie Rose, at 888-208-8081, ext. 1, or via e-mail at info@saddleupla.org.

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