I am so thrilled my pal Magic Johnson and his team have put the winning offer together for the Dodgers. Superstar does not begin to explain Earvin. Time and time again I have seen him light up a room just by walking in. No one on Earth does a better job of being Magic Johnson than Magic.
Last December on World AIDS Day at AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Magic Johnson Clinic on West Adams, Magic was presenting an award at a news conference. After the event broke up and the press was all gone, Magic noticed a class of third graders across the street on a tour of the 1932 Olympic Village and they spotted Magic. With his staff and security just looking on, the Lakers point guard and forward, famous number 32, ran across four lanes of a busy street to talk to the kids and have his picture taken. This was almost 20 years since he played the game and these kids knew Mr. Showtime well. He told them to stay in school and respect and be nice to one another. They were blown away. It was magic!
Cut to a few weeks ago, I was having lunch with him at Crustacean Restaurant on Little Santa Monica in Beverly Hills at a table right on the street. During lunch a disheveled woman interrupted and began a sort of crazy talk story of meeting Magic years ago with her now long deceased husband. He listened intently to every word, told her it was great to see her again, asked if her life was going well and told her to please take care of herself. He was wonderful and real. He meant every word.
And just a few days ago AIDS Healthcare Foundation co-hosted the presentation of an ESPN movie titled The Announcement for 500 high school seniors Downtown at Regal Cinemas. The movie is the story of Magic’s life living with HIV. As he welcomed the crowd, he noticed two guys sitting together talking trash and showing attitude. Magic was up and in their faces in the coolest way possible. All six-foot-nine-inches of the man hovered above them and told them he had been in their shoes and there is nothing funny about HIV and AIDS.
He asked them to protect themselves and protect their partners and anyone they love. He spoke beautifully about how our black and brown communities are so at risk for both STDs and HIV, how the stats are just frightening and how those guys had better man up. By the end of his rant, these two cats were up on their feet thanking a true American hero. It was so heartfelt and another true magic moment.
So we know that Magic Johnson is a sports legend. We also get he is a brilliant businessman with real estate holdings, Starbucks, 24-Hour Fitness, Fatburgers and tons more. And he also just happens to be the face of HIV and AIDS for most people in the world today.
My pal doesn’t back down from being likely the most famous person on the planet living with HIV. He knows the power of his brand and he knows he has a responsibility to educate and illustrate. He does it all with honesty, purity and emotion.
He also now just happens to be the face of one of the most prestigious sports franchises in history. All of those add up to great news for us soldiers in the war on AIDS. Once again it’s showtime, and we have a magic man to thank for it.
Magic will be hosting the California Music Festival and AIDS Walk set for Sunday, May 20, from 2-9 p.m., in Griffith Park and at the Greek Theatre. Register a team right now and be a big part of our party with a cause. One hundred percent of every dollar raised will benefit seven vital local AIDS service organizations. It is music all day in the park with free food trucks and carnival rides and games, followed by an all-star show at the Greek Theatre presented by K-EARTH 101. Lock in your free day and reserved seat at the concert right now by registering at walkeatdance.org. The event is 100 percent underwritten by AHF Pharmacies so this benefit is as pure as they come. Please come on out with us on May 20 and have a blast. It will be a wonderful act of personal philanthropy.
The hot new gay club Rain Nightclub is having a beach party to kick-off their own California Music Festival & AIDS Walk team. Surf’s up at Rain on April 15 at 4 p.m. Rain is located at 12215 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. Check out the ad in this issue and then join us for a Cali party with drink specials, hot surfer boys, live music and more. The bash is free. To register for Rain’s team, go to walkeatdance.org, hit ‘join a team’ and enter Rain Nightclub!