Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Holds 25th Annual ‘A Time for Heroes’ Event

Neon Tommy | October 19, 2014

By Diana Lee

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) held its 25th annual "A Time for Heroes" event in Culver City on Sunday. The family festival had many celebrity attendees who showed their support for the cause in hopes of raising awareness for AIDS.

EGPAF rolled out the red carpets and planned activities for the kids, with food from local L.A. eateries and musical performances. The event, which honored pediatrician Peter Waldstein, M.D. for his 25 years of work with the organization, raised funds and awareness with the goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation. Since its start in 1989, "A Time for Heroes" has raised nearly $35 million to help families worldwide affected by HIV and AIDS. Many celebrities hoped their presence would increase people's exposure to this epidemic, which affects nearly 700 children every day.

Activist Cristina Jade Peña, renowned for her work with "Keep a Child Alive," has firsthand experience as she was born HIV positive during the '80s, when she says there was no treatment or thorough research on the issue. EGPAF works to prevent transmission from mother to children, as well as make sure children remain HIV-free as they get older, according to Peña. "When I think of this idea of a generation free, given this progress we've made, we are just one step closer every year, every decade, to making that reality possible," she said.

Peña also says that psychological and social support are necessary for children who are born with this disease, so they can transition into adulthood successfully. As a young woman who has come out healthy on the other side, she realizes the importance of community support, such as this particular event, to help affected children realize their full potential in society. "Advocacy around HIV and AIDS is crucial," she said. "Without advocacy, we're not gonna be able to reach our goals."

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