July 16, 2000
Gillian is introduced and there is a long, loud bout of cheering and whistling.
Gillian: As Ellen would say, I care for you too. (cheering) God, Iím so nervous. I canít believe it. Iím shaking. Um, Itís freezing, for one!! You guys are incredible. I canít believe all the people that are out here! This is amazing! Wow!!! Itís um... oh my goodness, I would have had to stop. Um, I donít know what to say I-I-I- Iím so.. um, Iím so pleased to be here. I caní t believe I havenít done this before. Um, I just happened to be in San Francisco and um, and um, and here I am. So, first of all, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the first of two great performances this morning. Here to sing "Seasons of Love" is the lovely Debra Gibson and friends.
Gillian: Fundraising for AIDS Walk San Francisco begins with underwriting from sponsors. These important contributions get the AIDS Walk off to a healthy start and ensure itís success - can you guys hear me okay? (loud cheering). Our two premiere sponsors and six principle sponsors to the AIDS Walkathon are particularly generous in their donations. Out first premiere sponsor's support and generosity has made AIDS Walk San Francisco history as the largest cash sponsor ever. Representing California State Automobile Association, please welcome its vice president of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Rose Gilbow.
(In Rose Gilbowís speech she makes a reference to participation in the event by the Triple A mascot: Auto/Otto?)
Gillian: (to someone lowering the microwave) Hey, I'm not that short! (raises it higher) Is "Auto" a person or a vehicle? (laughs in the crowd). Itís a little car, and itís going to walk? (more laughing from crowd). Just want to get that straight. Our next premiere sponsor is a very visible (pauses and raises microphone more, saying "Geeez!") a very visible and fashionable support of the AIDS Walk. Theyíve got a huge AIDS Walk team in addition to their very large cash sponsorship of the event. From The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy Clothing Company. (crowd cheering) Yea, we like them donít we? I donít know how many times Iíve ordered from that damned catalogue (another comment about the catalog) It is the bane of my existence. But itís great. Itís a good bane. Please welcome the executive vice president - yea, can I get a discount (laughing)? Iím here. I mean geez! I might as well try and you know, whatever. Okay. Please welcome the executive vice president of Banana Republic, Michael Vadario, my new best friend.
Gillian: I think itís great, the work you guys are doing. But you gotta take off those West Side Story ads. You gotta stop that (laughing from the crowd). Okay? Itís gotta end now! (laughing and cheering from the crowd). Sorry. Okay. Makiní some friends (more laughing from crowd), with the support of our first principle sponsor, hundreds of thousands of people have seen the AIDS Walk San Francisco Television commercials featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and other celebrities. Over the past 14 years this nation has contributed over a million dollars worth of air time, clap, clap, clap, (cheering) to help encourage participation in the AIDS Walk San Francisco. From ABC 7, please welcome itís president and general manager: Joe Ahern
Gillian: Thatís fantastic, every dollar thatís raised... thatís great. Wow! Iím impressed. Um.. our second principle sponsor donates more than a hundred thousand dollars worth of airline tickets each year to support the work of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, including all airline tickets we needed to help make todayís event a success. From American Airlines, please welcome their district sales manager: Meredith Green.
Gillian: In addition to hosting a VIP party for top walkers and volunteers, a reception for thousands of AIDS Walk volunteers, this principle sponsor also generously donates hotel accommodations for the event and organizes a huge AIDS Walk team. From San Francisco Marriott, please welcome their general manager: Chris Gaviardi.
Gillian: Um, Chris just reminded me of uh, my dear friend Wayne in uh.. Los Angeles who has been battling this disease for um something, I donít know - 10, 15 years. And um..his meds arenít working anymore. Heís uh become immune to everything and um, and uh..(sigh) I, I just donít know how anybody can get up in the morning with that behind them and live their life and I, I um am just so in awe and have so much respect for everybody who lives with people who are suffering from AIDS and um and who are living with it themselves and who actually face the day, everyday and keep going. Itís just absolutely extraordinary to me and um (clapping) Thanks. Youíre amazing. Absolutely amazing.
Um... last year this next sponsor organized the largest fundraising team ever -raising an incredible 160,000 dollars, yep. This year their support remains as strong as ever. In addition to their generous cash donation and (Huge Ace?) Walk team, they donated and printed T-Shirts for the 1500 volunteers working at todayís event. Thatís pretty great. (Cheering) Not only that, but along the route today youíll be enjoying popsicles (laughing)..or not (crowd laughs loudly). Itís the idea that counts. Also provided by this very generous sponsor please welcome the vice president of human resources from Irvinís California, Russ Testa. (Note: It was totally foggy and cold, misting and sprinkling on and off, hence the joke about popsicles).
Gillian: Hello! Our final principle sponsor takes corporate responsibility very seriously . Along with ABC 7, my new network (cheers), this has got to help with my re-negotiations (laughing), donít you think? (more cheering). They made sure that the message of the AIDS Walk reached well beyond San Francisco city limits to help involve the entire Bay Area community. Their donation of advertising was the largest (long pause and Gillian comically looks way out towards the crowd in perplexity), ( laughing from crowd) um.. I thought someone was singing, sorry. This is very serious. I didnít mean to interrupt, okay. Their donation of advertising was the largest the AIDS Walk has ever received from any newspaper. Please welcome the Promotions and Marketing manager of A.N.G. newspapers, publisher of The Oakland Tribune, Nicole Amunik.
Gillian: (Sigh) Um, our next host is currently starring in the television series Party of Five (cheers). And last year made his Broadway debut in the Tony Pulitzer award winning musical phenomenon RENT. (Cheers) Heís an accomplished film, theater and television actor and a long time supporter in the fight against AIDS. Please welcome Wilson Cruise.