Sun and Fun at the 23rd “A Time for Heroes Celebrity Picnic”

Recording artist Gwen Stefani poses with Goofy in the Disney Play Area at the 23rd A Time For Heroes Celebrity Picnic

Getty Images for EGPAF

For the past 22 years, celebrities and supporters have gathered in Los Angeles each summer to support the Foundation’s mission to eliminate pediatric AIDS around the world.

Our “A Time For Heroes Celebrity Picnic” has always been about having fun while supporting a great cause – and this year was no different.

The 23rd annual picnic – held at the Wadsworth Theater – was full of fun, sun, and amazing food from some of the best eateries around LA.

And this year’s theme emphasized our “A Mother’s Fight” campaign – helping mothers worldwide fight to protect their babies from HIV.

More than 1,000 guests mingled with celebrity supporters like Gwen Stefani, Sharon Stone, Shailene Woodley, and many more – and were treated to a special performance by singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson.

They got to hang out in the Disney Play Area, screen print their own t-shirts at the Maiden Voyage T-shirt Station, and design their very own piece of the ONE Campaign/(RED) Digital AIDS Quilt, among other activities. They could also survey the whole scene from above on the giant slide sponsored by OneWest, or the zip line sponsored by Imagine Entertainment.

And when attendees needed to recharge, they enjoyed delicious treats from LA mainstays like Pinks Hot Dogs, Drago, Centro, Square One, and Covell – washed down with an array of beverages from the Coca Cola Company.

The event also included remarks by Jake Glaser and other young Foundation Ambassadors, who joined us in LA from around the country to tell their personal stories of triumph over HIV. It was a reminder of the Foundation’s history, and of the great impact it continues to have in the lives of children around the world.

Elizabeth Glaser and the Foundation’s two other co-founders – Susie Zeegen and Susan DeLaurentis – started “A Time For Heroes” in 1990 to raise critical money and awareness about pediatric AIDS.

This was at a time when we didn’t know how to prevent children from being born with HIV, or even how to treat the virus in children.

More than two decades later, “A Time For Heroes” has brought in over $34 million for our cause – including nearly $1 million this year.

Funds raised from this year’s event will be used to help create an AIDS-free generation – ensuring that pregnant women have access to the medicines to prevent passing HIV to their babies, and treating mothers and children already living with the virus.

Thanks to our many Heroes, who continue to make a Mother’s Fight their fight – including the Walt Disney Company and event co-chairs Willow Bay and Bob Iger, and Heather and Steve Mnuchin.

Evan Von Leer is the Foundation’s Online Communications Officer based in Washington, D.C.