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10,000 Angelenos Turn Out for HomeWalk 2012

On Saturday, November 17, United Way of Greater Los Angeles welcomed approximately 10,000 eager participants to Exposition Park for its Sixth Annual 5K Run/Walk to end homelessness. Take a look at a video recap of the event:

With Kobe Bryant serving as Honorary Chair for the second straight year and ABC7 Eyewitness News’ David Ono hosting the opening ceremony, HomeWalk 2012 proved to be the organization’s most high-profile event to date.

Other notable guests included County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, City Councilwoman Jan Perry and other elected officials as well as military veterans and television actors Jon Huertas from “Castle” and Mark Valley from “Body of Proof.”

Sponsored by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Wells Fargo, ABC7 and many others, the massive fundraiser featured dozens of information booths on UWGLA’s community partners, popular food trucks like Don Chow Tacos and The Urban Oven, not to mention an early morning address by Kobe Bryant himself.

Bryant emphasized the importance of teamwork and rallying family, friends and colleagues around such a worthy cause: “We understand the significance of being here,” he said. “It’s to inspire others to join forces with us to eradicate homelessness. Let’s embrace this challenge and let’s do it together!”

Funds raised by HomeWalk 2012 will go twice as far thanks to a generous grant from the Hilton Foundation which matches all contributions of $100 or more. Every last penny of the proceeds is to be invested in the development and implementation of permanent housing solutions for local families, military veterans and the chronically homeless.

According to UWGLA President and CEO Elise Buik, the sheer scale of today’s event was not only reassuring – it represented a huge step in the right direction.

“To have thousands of people stand up and say, ‘We will end homelessness’ is inspiring and a true testament to what is possible in our community,” she said. “With the help of a champion like Kobe Bryant and all of our participants, along with the public, private, nonprofit, business, government, faith and philanthropic sectors, we’ll be able to house countless homeless individuals. And that’s what it really comes down to: getting people off the streets.”

Check out this slideshow from the event


and click here to view and share your photos.

*Above photo courtesy of Nathan Winston Photography.

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