Professional actor Billy Edwards has spent the past 15 years entertaining Philadelphia as some of the city’s most beloved figures. He has worked as a costumed History Maker and Storyteller at Historic Philadelphia Inc., a Duck Boat guide at Ride the Ducks, a Santa at Macy’s Dickens’ Village, a Phanstormer for the Philadelphia Phillies, at Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary and much more.
On Saturday AIDS Fund hosted the 15th annual Black-Tie Gay Bingo, an annual springtime event that raises money for the nonprofit’s mission to provide monetary aid to regional HIV/AIDS organizations. Gays, drag queens, allies and shirtless waiters packed the Crystal Tea Room in the Wanamaker Building for a night of cocktail-ing, Bingo-ing, dancing, and mingling. The much-loved Bingo-Verifying Divas did one number, Lady Gaga’s “Applause,” awards were handed out to locals working to bring HIV awareness to Philadelphia, and the whole shebang ended with a fantastic dance party. Check out some photos from local paparazzo HughE Dillon after the jump.
Philly gays (and allies) will channel their inner frat boy for the Gay Bowl Committee and National Multiple Sclerosis Society‘s first annual Flip Cup Tournament. The event — a fundraiser for both organizations — calls on different teams to play everyone’s favorite college drinking game in the attempt to be crowned Philly’s Flip Cup
“The MS Society has long traditions of doing innovative and out-of-the-box fundraisers, and the gang at Gay Bowl wanted something unique that seemed kinda sporty,” says Chatterblast founder Matthew Ray, explaining the thinking behind the tournament. He, along with Field House and Gay Bowl rep Tim Adams, helped organize the event. “We gays haven’t always embraced our ‘frat-tastic’ side,'” he says, “but over the last few years I have participated in more and more drinking games at homo parties. So it seemed like something cuckoo that might be fun.”
New Project Will Provide Shelter for Philly’s Homeless LGBT Youth:
All the Ways You Can Help Get it Running
Between 20 and 40 percent of the nation’s annual 1.6 million runaway and homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender according to studies by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Two Philadelphians, Rusty Doll and Lisa Sipes, are trying to lower that number by opening a safe house for LGBT homeless youth, the only such facility in the tri-state area.
Doll says the North Philly shelter, called Change Philly Today, will offer a variety of services, including “crisis beds” for youth that need an emergency place to stay, along with a long-term residency program for those LGBT youth who are permanently displaced from homes. However, his vision doesn’t end there.
Attention high rollers: Forget Atlantic City or Las Vegas. For one night only, ActionAIDS, Pennsylvania’s largest AIDS service organization, is transforming Philadelphia’s Hotel Palomar into a glitzy casino — all for a good cause.
Philanthropic “gamblers” are invited to attend Glamsino Royale, an evening of food, games, and music, on Feb 27. The 24th and 25th floors of Hotel Palomar will be transformed into a casino paradise, where guests can try their hands at Black Jack, Craps, Roulette, or Texas Hold ‘Em. If gambling isn’t your jam, no worries: There will be plenty of booze from the likes of Yards Brewing Company, J. Lohr Vineyards, and Philadelphia Distilling, along with light bites from the Palomar’s Square 1682. There will also be plenty of raffles and prizes, including Kimpton Hotel vacations, up for grabs.
It’s baaaaack. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s second annual Race to Anyplace indoor cycling spin-a-thon is happening on April 5th. Last year, LLS raised $42,000 for critical blood-cancer research from this event; this year, their goal is $60K.
Here’s how it works: Team members of 12 or more will each complete at least one 15-minute, all-out spinning heat during the six-hour day; individuals can also take part, completing up to two 15-minute segments. Teams will compete—for prizes, of course—to cover as much mileage as they can over the course of the event, while individuals will go head-to-head for best heat time. Winners will be announced after 3 p.m. when the race ends.
Philadelphia FIGHT‘s Institute for Community Justice — which works “to reduce not only the number of people in prison living with HIV, but also the lasting effects of mass imprisonment on communities most affected” — is teaming with Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) for its annual toy drive benefitting children of incarcerated or recently released parents. Now through Dec. 15, any visitor to ESP who donates a new toy or children’s book that’s still in its original package will receive a second admission free of charge. Don’t feel like a stroll through the prison? Folks can make donations during regular business hours even if they don’t plan on taking the tour.
On Saturday, I attended the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s (DVLF) annual holiday charity event, TOY. Taking place along the corridors and alleys of a closed Reading Terminal Market, over 400 showed up to eat, drink and be merry. Or should I say “Mary.” A big chunk of the crowd were LGBTers, who came out in their yuletide finest to support the cause, which, according to DVLF’s Ron Lucente, raised 350 toys that will be distributed to children between the ages of 2 and 17 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
In our Fall Guide we called it the party of the season, and finally TOY is upon us. The annual see-and-be-seen holiday event hosted by Delaware Valley Legacy Fund kicks off Saturday, and, being that it’s a charity event for kids, it’s just the ticket you need to get that warm holiday feeling that only comes from giving. (And maybe a little egg nog, but I digress …)
Taking place at Philly’s iconic Reading Terminal Market, TOY guests are asked to bring one unwrapped toy that will later be distributed to young people between the ages of 2 and 17 at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The party starts once the gifts have been donated, and goes well into the night if you’re in the right mood: Your wristband will grant you access to both Woody’s and Voyeur. We’re sending our very own Alexander Kacala to check it out, so stay tuned to G Philly for a recap and photos. Sat., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.-11 p.m., dvlf.org.