Fifth Annual Global Conservation Gala

The Philadelphia Zoo hosted its 5th Annual Global Conservation Gala, November 13, 2014 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue.

The Philadelphia Zoo hosted its 5th Annual Global Conservation Gala, on Thursday at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. The gala honors individuals, families and organizations for extraordinary contributions to wildlife and the natural world.

This year’s gala spotlighted the issues facing gorillas in the wild, addressing the impact of climate change and palm oil on endangered species. The gala also officially launched 2015 as the “Year of the Gorilla”, a zoo-wide commitment of resources designed to mobilize action on behalf of gorillas.

Joanna McNeil Lewis was recognized for her contributions and 27 years of volunteer work with the zoo, and was honored with the Conservation Impact Award. Gerry Ellis was recognized with the Global Conservation Prize.

Photos after the jump »

New Website to Raise Funds for Gloria Casarez Scholarship Fund

A pin that can be purchased on the memorial website.

A pin that can be purchased on the memorial website.

Gloria Casarez may be gone, but a new fundraising campaign aims to ensure that Philadelphia’s first director of the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs continues to have an impact, even after her death.

The Gloria t-shirt for sale on the website.

The Gloria t-shirt for sale on the website.

The website, simply titled “Remembering Gloria,” offers visitors the opportunity to purchase both a T-shirt and a pin; all proceeds from the sales will benefit the Gloria Casarez Scholarship Fund for Latino students attending Casarez’s alma mater, West Chester University.

For those wishing to make a donation without purchasing the T-shirt or pin, they can do so by money to WCU Foundation, In Memory of Gloria Casarez, P.O. Box 541, West Chester, PA 19381.

Ms. Casarez died on October 19 this past year after battling cancer.

You can visit the fundraising website here.

Ben Franklin, Phillie Phanatic and Other Philly Characters Come Together for Fellow Entertainer With Cancer

BillyPhoto

Billy Edwards with Historic Philadelphia

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.

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PHOTOS: Black-Tie Gay Bingo 2014

The stars of the evening, the Bingo-Verifying Divas.

The stars of the evening, the Bingo-Verifying Divas.

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.

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DO THIS: The Gayest Flip Cup Tournament in Town

1898742_10100933148514834_1740603315_oPhilly 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 queen champion.

“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.”

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New Project Will Provide Shelter for Philly’s Homeless LGBT Youth:
All the Ways You Can Help Get it Running

change phillyBetween 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.

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Hotel Palomar Goes Vegas for ActionAIDS Charity

glamsino royale palomar

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.

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To Do: Race to Anyplace Indoor-Cycling Challenge

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

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.

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Philadelphia FIGHT Teams With Eastern State Penitentiary for Holiday Toy Drive

philly fight toy drivePhiladelphia 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.

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