In Their Own Words: AIDS Fundraisers Share the Personal Stories that Motivate Them

Angelinos will dodge obstacles Sunday on their way through the city's downtown in a new effort to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles called "Concrete Hero — Ultimate Urban Obstacle Challenge." In their own words, here are the personal reasons some are joining in.



The 5K Concrete Hero obstacle course begins Sunday at L.A. LIVE and takes participants through the streets and alleyways of downtown. They'll leap over 26 parked cars and two buses in a “Carmageddon” pile-up, scale a 14-foot "Hollywood" sign, and swing over two bubbling “tar pits,” plus seven more obstacles.

“Nothing like Concrete Hero exists today,” says Craig E. Thompson, executive director at APLA.  “Other obstacle challenges have been done in Southern California, but none have taken place right here in urban, downtown LA."

Funds raised go to APLA programs including its Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries, which distribute more than 150,000 bags of groceries annually to people facing HIV/AIDS and hunger, and APLA Dental Services, which offers more than 12,000 no- and low-cost dental procedures to restore the smiles of those who are HIV-positive but who often can't afford basic dental care.

Participants must raise the minimum of $400. All ages and athletic abilities are welcomed. For more information or to register or donate to Concrete Hero, visit or call 323-462-HERO (4376).

Tags: Health