Jack Mackenroth Pledges to Raise $50,000 on BRAKING AIDS Ride

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Monday August 25, 2014

Super-sexy Jack Mackenroth needs your help! This former "Project Runway" designer turned HIV activist has pledged to raise $50,000 for BRAKING AIDS Ride, a 285 mile bike ride from Boston to New York City benefitting Housing Works, whose mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy and the provision of lifesaving services.

"Housing Works is honored that Jack is devoting his time, energy and social media prowess to raise awareness and funds for our fight to end AIDS and homelessness," said Charles King, Housing Works CEO. "The money Jack raises will directly fund the lifesaving services we provide to nearly 4,000 individuals living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. We're looking forward to riding with him in September."

With just seven weeks to reach his goal, Mackenroth is urging his devout following to donate to his fundraising effort by incentivizing them with sexy selfies and heartfelt videos that allow consumers to make a real difference for HIV, while getting tremendous social media exposure on Mackenroth's personal channels, including his Twitter (107,000 followers), five Facebook accounts (250,000 followers) and Instagram (17,000 followers).

Mackenroth has been living with HIV for 25 years, and was grateful to organizations like Housing Works, who helped him navigate the medications and doctors and housing in New York City when he had no money.

He has watched countless friends die of AIDS, including his partner Greg Beutler in 1996. He said that their memory will help him push his body to the limit during the Braking AIDS ride, calling it "a small price to endure compared to the daily struggles of many people living with HIV."

"Having been diagnosed as HIV-positive 25 years ago, this is a cause that is obviously a very personal one and although I have worked with and lent my face to countless HIV charities, organizations and campaigns, I have never directly asked for donations," said Mackenroth. "I am setting the bar very high here to see what's possible. I'm hopeful that others out there are as passionate as I am and are willing to support me."

By donating $250 or more to the cause, consumers will receive a shirtless photo of Mackenroth, personalized with their name or social media handle on his chest. For those looking to make a more substantial donation of a $1,000 or more, Mackenroth will up the stakes, offering a personalized ass pic, with 2 takers to date. The overall strategy has already yielded rapid results, raising $8,000 in just two weeks!

He encourages donors to multiply their gift by seeing if their employer offers a matching gift program, and donating through that. Mackenroth said he was thankful for corporate support from donors and two other companies who stepped forward to help.

Martone Cycling Co. has donated two bikes to the ride, both of which will be used to help fuel fundraising efforts. By donating $100 dollars or more, consumers will automatically be entered in a raffle to win one of the bikes (pictured), while the second bike will be given to the person who is the highest overall fundraiser other than Mackenroth. The bikes retail for over $1,500 dollars. SCRUFF, is also supporting the BRAKING AIDS Ride by purchasing team jerseys for Mackenroth's team, The Mack Pack. Additionally, SCRUFF will be matching up to $2,500 in donations later this month. By tapping into these creative giving options, he hopes to meet his goal.

"I'd like to beat the team total record as well, which is close to $150,000," said Mackenroth. "We'll see if people who read this will be motivated enough and selfless enough to give money to total strangers who are really struggling on a day-to-day basis."

Mackenroth will be utilizing his social media outlets from now until the end of the ride to document the amazing experience and capture the challenges, the humor and all the inspirational moments during his journey.

The BRAKING AIDS Ride will kick off in Boston on Friday, September 12 and finish in New York City on Sunday, September 14. You can help Mackenroth make a difference in the lives of people struggling with HIV and homelessness by donating here.

Mackenroth's team, The Mack Pack, currently has 15 riders and to date they have collectively raised more than $31,000. If anyone would like to ride they are still accepting registrations and welcome more members. To register, click here.

To donate to Mackenroth's campaign, visit http://fundraising.housingworks.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=1691

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.