Financial advisor David Rae started riding in the AIDS Life/Cycle race just four years ago, and he has since gotten heavily involved in recruiting and fund-raising for the event. The seven-day race, which raised $11 million last year for Los Angeles-area HIV and AIDS support, takes cyclists from San Francisco to Los Angeles along a 545-mile scenic coastal route in early June. This year the ride turns 10, and 2,500 riders are signed up, while another 500 will come out to support them. “It's a moving city. There are tents and food. It's like adult summer camp,” says Rae with a laugh.
Rae, who is 33, more than doubled the number of recruits he brought to the race this year to 70 riders. He has personally raised $10,000 each year for the race, making him one of the event's top donors. He also captains a team of 70 riders, named Team Popular (after the musical Wicked, he says), which was the top fundraising team last year and is on track to be the top team again in 2011.
Rae's work does not stop when the race ends. He has also been on the ambassador council for AIDS Project LA for the past three years, which helps people living with AIDS in Los Angeles through fundraising and public awareness campaigns. In addition, over the past five years Rae has been on the board of Labor Day Los Angeles, which picks three causes to support every year, typically fatal diseases and thorny social issues that result in discrimination, like AIDs, cancer, homeless youth and gay marriage.
Rae got started helping with AIDs organizations in a minor way in college, writing small checks. A mentor encouraged him to get more involved. “Now that I have more means and a social network, I can give a lot more back with a much better result,” he says.
For Rae, among the highlights of his philanthropic work are the semi-annual fundraising parties he throws in his own home, a large house that can accommodate 500 people right off of busy Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. He hires a DJ, gets an alcohol sponsor, and requests a donation at the door. The parties attract an eclectic mix of people, who spill out onto the front and back lawns, he says. “His outgoing personality and large social network allow him to host major fundraisers and help make sure they are a success, well attended and that everyone has a wonderful time,” says Ryne Meadors, formerly a team coordinator for California AIDS walk. Rae puts the “fun” in fundraising.See all of Registered Rep.'s Altruism Award Winners" class="old-inline-image">
Firm: Trilogy Financial Services, National Planning Corp.
City: Torrance, Calif.
Years as a rep: 9
Years with current firm: 9
AUM: $22 million
Product mix: Stocks 5%; insurance 12%; bonds 1%; managed accounts 82%
Specialty: Financial planning for gay individuals
Designations, licenses: CFP; Series 6, 7, 63, 65