On the Town - Joy in Muttville
by Donna Sachet
As a loyal supporter of a variety of charitable organizations, we frequently repeat annual events, but once in a while, an event draws our attention and attendance for the first time, often with surprising results! Lenny Broberg is a long-time advocate for Muttville, a group dedicated to finding homes for senior dogs who would otherwise face euthanasia. When he asked us to join him as co-host and auctioneer for their annual gala, we was thrilled.
That night, Terra Gallery quickly filled with a wide range of dog lovers, browsing the silent auction, shopping the retail assortment of dog accessories, and generally socializing over cocktails and edibles. We even ran into friends like Wilkes Bashford, Zoe Dunning, Dennis Richards and others. Our main responsibility was to auction off a small but enticing group of items and then to open the floor up for pledges of monetary support.
Although Lenny had prepared us somewhat, reviewing the previous year's high bids and detailing the generosity of the typical crowd, nothing could have prepared us for the avalanche of giving that quickly commenced! After moving and even heart-rending stories from founder Sherri Franklin and others, the live auction took off like a freight train with Lenny masterfully directing, bidders scrambling to succeed, and bits of humor and encouragement from yours truly. A single dinner went for $15,000, perhaps because it will include Sherri and the chef will be Lenny, or perhaps because this writer will be serving in a French maid's outfit! Thank you, Lenny, for inviting us and thank you Muttville for the life-saving rescue, hospice and adoption work you do.
Tis the season for annual galas, as you were forewarned in our last column, and so we started with AIDS Emergency Fund's gala last week at the Armory, now headquarters for Kink.com. The theme of Leather & Feathers gave guests ample room for creative costumes, several of which were recognized during the evening, and the setting contributed to a general sense of naughtiness.
After docent-led, eye-popping group tours of the facility, Sister Roma and this writer co-emceed the awards presentations, including recognition for Troy Brunet , Empress XXV Marlena , Cynthia Hester , and Neil Figurelli, all remarkable individuals who have proven their generosity and commitment to AEF again and again. The food was tasty, the drinks were strong, and the pre-Folsom energy was high, shared by Emperor Frankie Fernandez , Suzan Revah, Joanna Parks, Tom Horn, Simon Antonuccio , Kitty Glamour, Steve Gaynes, Derek James and Robert Rushin , Misty Blue, and others. The final treat was a musical set from recording artist Brian Kent backed by his own band. From there, a smaller group reassembled across the street at Kink.com's bar The Armory Club for after-party revelry in their perfect downstairs private space.
Positive Resource Center held its annual Windows of Opportunity gala last Wednesday at the SPUR building downtown and hundreds of well-wishers attended, including Stu Smith and Dave Earl, Joe Seiler and Ken Henderson , Beth Feingold, Michael Armentrout, Patrik Gallineaux, John Brosnan , Lu Conrad, Kevin Winge, and newly elected President of the San Francisco Pride Board Gary Virginia.
Executive Director Brett Andrews , now in his tenth year with the agency, welcomed City Supervisors Scott Wiener , Jane Kim, and David Campos and State Senator Mark Leno, who all shared promises of support. Managing Legal Director of Benefits Counseling Andy Chu and Managing Director of Employment Services Joe Ramirez-Forcier then presented the Community Pillar Award to Wells Fargo. DJ LaMont did a great job keeping the crowd engaged throughout the formal presentations, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and the lively silent auction. The evening wound down with staff, volunteers, and other supporters dancing, chatting, and otherwise socializing together.
Folsom Street Fair couldn't have asked for more perfect weather! We'll leave the detailed report up to our colleague Scott Brogan and his Leather column (now in our new BARtab section), but suffice it to say, everywhere we went, there were smiles and sighs of satisfaction.
The Ducal Court also saw a busy and successful weekend, ending the reign of Grand Duke Moe Jo and Grand Duchess Paloma Volare and ushering in the new Grand Duke Kippy Marks and Grand Duchess Pat N Leather . Expect great things from this friendly and innovative pair!
The next big events on our calendar are Breast Cancer Emergency Fund's This Old Bag: The Power of the Purse on Friday, October 18, at the St. Regis and Night Ministry's Gold Rush 49 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church and HRC's annual gala at the Westin St. Francis, both on Saturday, October 19. There is also a rumor that on that same Saturday night, certain well known male personalities will be releasing their inner divas... maybe at The Edge, maybe including the Reigning Emperor Drew Cutler and Imperial Crown Prince Kevin Lisle ? Prepare yourselves!