Charity Treks, a non-profit organization that raises money for research and development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine through fundraising bike rides, has donated $30,528.87 to the UCLA AIDS Institute
Rob and Linda Seltzer, who regularly participate in the rides, presented the check to the Institute on behalf of the organization during a short ceremony on Thursday, May 20.
Rob Seltzer, a UCLA alumnus, has been involved with Charity Treks since 2003 and was particularly struck by the "grassroots family feel" of the rides.
"I knew no one and yet was made to feel completely comfortable and welcome, and I felt that I was part of something that worked as a unit for a common goal," he said. "When I tell people that 100 percent of the funds raised go directly to the beneficiaries, they are shocked. This policy sets Charity Treks apart and is an important aspect of what makes the organization so special."
This donation brings the total amount that Charity Treks has raised for the UCLA AIDS Institute to $264,103.
"Charity Treks has long been a supporter of the important work conducted by our researchers," said Irvin Chen, director of the UCLA AIDS Institute. "Their generosity brings us closer to finding a safe and effective vaccine."
Established in 1992, the UCLA AIDS Institute is a multidisciplinary think-tank drawing on the skills of top-flight researchers in the worldwide fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), the first cases of which were reported in 1981 by UCLA physicians. Institute members include researchers in virology and immunology, genetics, cancer, neurology, ophthalmology, epidemiology, social science, public health, nursing and disease prevention. Their findings have led to advances in treating HIV as well as other diseases such as hepatitis B and C, influenza and cancer. For more information, visit http://www.uclaaidsinstitute.org/.
Charity Treks, is a non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization dedicated to raising funds for research and development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine. It was formed in 2002 by a group of cyclists who had participated in the 2001 Montreal to Maine AIDS Vaccine Bike Trek, one of the last AIDS Rides produced by Pallotta Teamworks, and remained committed to raising the public awareness about AIDS. As a result, a number of riders and volunteers gathered together to form a volunteer organization whose purpose is to forward the cause of AIDS awareness and raise funds for vital research in the development of a vaccine. All the funds raised are donated to the Emory Vaccine Center and the UCLA AIDS Institute. For more information, visit http://www.charitytreks.org/