California AIDSRide Organizers Blame Competing Ride, Lawsuit for Reduction in Participants This Year
About 1,200 individuals, fewer than half the number who participated in last year's California AIDSRide, planned to depart from San Francisco for Los Angeles yesterday as part of the seven-day, 575-mile charity bike ride, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports. Organizers, who said that they expected only two-thirds of those who registered to ride in the event, attributed the low turnout to a competing ride sponsored by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center that took place two weeks ago and to a lawsuit recently filed against Pallotta TeamWorks, the company that sponsors the ride. AIDS/LifeCycle was created this year after SFAF and the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center voiced concerns that too much of the money raised by the ride under Pallotta's sponsorship was going to production and promotion costs and not enough was going to the charities. "There is a group of ... people who do rides and now we have forced them to make a choice," Craig Thompson, executive director of AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of the groups benefitting from the AIDSRide, said, adding, "We have forced a division, and that's unfortunate." Mark Cloutier, a former AIDS Vaccine Ride participant, filed a lawsuit in April alleging that Pallotta TeamWorks "misrepresented and mismanaged" money raised for not-for-profit HIV/AIDS organizations. AIDSRides sponsored by Pallotta have raised $40 million since 1994, and 18 groups are expected to benefit from events taking place around the world this year (Rodriguez, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.