Las Vegas star power gathered on Sunday to help those living with AIDS.
Penn and Teller, Carrot Top, Tape Face and some Chippendale’s laced up their shoes to take part in the 27th Annual Las Vegas AIDS Walk.
“We wanted to help the community and the nice thing about AFAN is that it’s all Nevada. The money raised here goes here,” said Penn Jillette, Penn & Teller
AFAN is short for Aid for AIDS of Nevada. The organization helps people living with HIV.
“They do phenomenal work, and they’re very empathic and compassionate,” said Mary Roacher who has HIV.
Roacher feared the worst when she found out she contracted the disease 20 years ago.
“Not knowing how long I’m going to be around. I want to see my grandson grow up,” Roacher said.
Roacher is one of about 8,000 people diagnosed with HIV in Nevada. She’s grateful for the strong community support these days.
“There was a time back in the early 90’s when you couldn’t touch anyone, you couldn’t hug or kiss, people were so afraid,” Roacher said.
Thousands of people walked Sunday for hope and to also support AFAN’s effort to prevent the disease from spreading.
“We are creating awareness, but we still have a lot of work to do because AIDs is not over,” said Antioco Carrillo, Executive Director, Aid for AIDS of Nevada. “Just because it’s no longer a death sentence like it used to be many years ago doesn’t mean that it doesn’t continue to affect people’s lives.”
For 16 years, Penn and Teller have been the event’s Grand Marshals and have watched the support grow.
“We do pretty well in charity here in Las Vegas. It’s very funny that our image on the outside world is very different but it really is a community,” said Jillette.
A community Roacher is grateful to be a part of.
“I think people are not afraid anymore,” Roacher said.
Organizers say the event raised nearly $300,000. It’s the organization’s biggest fundraiser all year long.
For more information about AFAN, you can visit its website by clicking here.