Thousands help fight HIV at AIDS Walk Atlanta

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Nearly 700 runners, hundreds more walkers, 1,200 volunteers and a gorgeous fall day helped make Sunday's 24th AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run a rousing success.

Organizers of the event, AID Atlanta, hinted that they may reach their $1 million fundraising mark like they did last year, but a total wasn't announced before walkers hit their stride. But they did say that Ready 4 Hope, the pool-partying hunks that raised money all year, donated more than $51,000 and set the record for the most from any team in the history of the event. AIDS Walk undraising continues through November. 

Sunday's opening ceremonies were bolstered with the national anthem from Brian Sharp, an LGBT liaison for Atlanta police, and a performance from gay “American Idol” contestant RJ Helton (top photo). Comic and event grand marshal Sandra Bernhard offered her take on the event and the AIDS epidemic – just as she did in an interview with Project Q before she hit town. Late Saturday, she did two special performances that also benefited AIDS Walk.

Event Ambassador Hydeia Broadbent, a 29-year-old Atlanta woman who was born with HIV, and WSB's Jovita Moore, who knows her way around a gay costume contest, also helped cheer on participants before the walk.

The event in Piedmont Park benefits AID Atlanta and six other agencies  – AIDGwinnett/Ric Crawford Clinic, Aniz, Jerusalem House, Living Room, Open Hand and Positive Impact.

Kavon Sadler took first place in the 5K Run with a time of 19:03.

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