Since 1991, we have been participating in the NYC AIDS Walks. In recent years, Randi Zwickler has taken on the family role.



 
← 2014 AIDS Walk
Once again, Randi Zwickler participated in the 2014 AIDS Walk. To learn more, click here.



↓ 2013 'Walking in the Rain'
In 2013, Randi and Allen joined the AIDS Walk and raised money for ASCNYC. See the photos below from their walk in the rain.

 


Since 2006, the foundation has supported riders, and looks forward to continuing its partnership and working together to find new organizations to sponsor.

It all started with an article in the Southampton Press in the summer of 2006. The article was about Jessica and Margaret Allen ("One Passion Leads to Another"). It caught the attention of Allen Zwickler, who was intrigued by their committment to the Empire State AIDS Ride (ESAR). The sisters became involved in the ride despite never having lost anyone to AIDS, or having, prior to the ride, any personal connection to motivate their involvement.

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Over the years, our favorite rider has been Tracy Daugherty. Please visit Tracy's blog by clicking here to learn more about her recent rides.



Empire State
AIDS RIde 2009 »

AIDS Service Center participated
and displayed their flag.

2009 Riders

Marty Rosen and Tracy Daugherty
at the 2009 Closing Ceremony




Tracy Daugherty

  
Tracy Daugherty rode in the 2007 ESAR as part of the Seattle-based group the 'Puget Sound Riders', who rode to benefit the AIDS Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco. The group's bond goes beyond a love for cycling, as each of the team captains lost a brother to AIDS. In addition, Tracy's daughter Caitlin came along as a volunteer to assist riders along the route.

The Monday after the ride, Allen Zwickler had lunch with Tracy and the editor of Poz magazine, a well-established publication focused on HIV and related topics. Tracy's story can be found in the November 2007 edition of Poz magazine, to read the article online please click here, or to read the article as it appeared in the magazine, please click here.

The foundation intends to continue supporting ESAR and looks forward to collaborating with them wherever possible.



Stuart Okorofsky


The 'Garage'


One of the riders enjoying a beautiful day on the ride
  

In 2007, the foundation supported Stuart Okorofsky, who has ridden in 14 AIDS rides over the past 11 years, at least one and sometimes two rides per year. This year he rode as an independent, meaning that his donor's funds went to the "general ride fund". The following is his story:

Stuart was born and raised in Brooklyn, and attended the University of Buffalo, completing a BS in Computer Science (back in the days of punch cards and mainframes that took up entire buildings). He eventually settled in Rosendale (Ulster County), and after working as a contractor for many years, he recently returned to computer programming.

"My brother died of AIDS in 1992. He was 38 and lived in San Francisco. I was very close to him and visited him often. When he was diagnosed, I spent a lot of time with him while he was still healthy. We knew that we would not have a lot of quality time left. AIDS was a death sentence in 1992. When he got sick, I basically lived out there with him.

A couple of years after he died, I was reading the Sunday Times and saw a full page ad for the Boston to NY AIDS Ride. Three days, 275 miles. I hadn't ridden a bike in 20 years. I bought a bike and started training. I raised a lot of money and did the ride. I learned of other AIDS rides around the country. I did the Calif Ride 5 times. It is 7 days, 600 miles from San Francisco to LA. I have done AIDS rides in Alaska and Canada as well. Five years ago, Marty Rosen started the Empire State AIDS Ride so I started doing that ride and have done all of them; this is the fifth year of that ride.

This is the eleventh consecutive year that I will be riding in at least one AIDS ride. When I did my first ride I didn't give any thought to how long I'd be doing these rides. The AIDS crisis has improved in some ways and has gotten worse in other respects. Certainly because of advances in drug research, some people are living a lot longer than they ever expected to. Unfortunately each year more and more people are infected with HIV.

I continue to ride and raise money for those people who are infected and need help. When my brother was dying of AIDS 15 years ago, he asked that any donations made in his name be given to local AIDS organizations. He was very fortunate in that he had countless friends and family members near him the entire time he was fighting the disease. However, there were still occasions where he needed some small help from local AIDS organizations, and he called on their services. He was one of the lucky ones who had insurance, family and friends; many, many other people aren't as fortunate.

—Stuart Okorofsky



Jessica Allen, Tracy Daugherty & Margaret Allen




(To read the articles, please click on the images)
  
The foundation supported Jessica and Margaret Allen in 2006, who were riding as part of a team supporting AIDS-Related Community Services, which is described below and in the press releases to the left.

The sisters, both school teachers, grew up in Buffalo, NY. Margaret currently lives in Ithaca, NY and Jessica resides near Southampton, in the town of Hampton Bays. They found the Empire State AIDS Ride particularly appealing because it focuses on helping people within New York state. Since 2002, they have ridden in several different AIDS rides across the country, and have raised over $25,000 (with the help of a third sister, Juliet) for AIDS research and services.

Prior to their involvement, the sisters had no personal connection to the disease, but have since become advocates for AIDS research and awareness.

This disease has been around for 25 years, since I was three years old, so if it began then, there is no reason why it can't end in my lifetime. All we can do is pedal our bikes and raise awareness to say 'let's stop this disease.'
—Jessica Allen, Southampton Press, 2006