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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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‘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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(L-R) Brad Hemler, Jivey Rivas, Kristina, Jeb Rehmann, Angela Giampolo and Tim Adams at TOY.
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.
See more photos of the evening after the jump »
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.
More weekend haps after the jump »
(L-R) Tami Sortman, Carrie Jacobs and Scott Barnes present an award to Ingrid Abrams for her longtime service to the Attic Youth Center.
On Saturday, more than 600 leaders and members of the Philadelphia LGBT community gathered at the Crystal Tea Room for The Attic Youth Center (AYC) 20th Anniversary Gala. Organizers did an extraordinary job putting together a sold-out night that included moving performances by AYC youth, an award ceremony, live auction, dinner and dancing. Here are some of the biggest highlights:
Highlights and a gallery of photos after the jump »
The Attic Youth Center (AYC), Philly’s only organization that exclusively serves the city’s LGBTQ youth, is turning the big 2-0 this year, and its celebrating with a glittering fundraiser gala. Themed “Unlocking the Future,” the evening will include dinner, cocktails, and a big-name headliner: Alex Newell, who you may recognize as trans diva Unique on Glee. Along with singing a few songs, Newell will be presented with AYC’s OK2BU Role Model Award.
The evening is sure to be one to remember, and we’d like to give two of our readers a chance to check it out. We have a pair of tickets available, valued at $175 each.
Details on how to win after the jump »
Friday, Oct. 26
Justin Bond plays the William Way on Friday (courtesy of the artist)
William Way hosts the Queer Fear Costume Closet (6:30 p.m.) with great garb from Philly AIDS Thrift.
ArtNUDE Philadelphia is presented by the James Oliver Gallery (7 p.m.) to benefit the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. The exhibit features 23 artists with performances by Katie Gould, DJ Mike Lowry and DJ Rich, among others.
The Queer Fear Cabaret features none other than Justin Vivien Bond (7:30 p.m.) with the Bearded Ladies. Check out Bond’s amazing new album here.
Play the Halloween Match Game (7:30 p.m.) at L’Etage with the Real Housewives of South Philly.
The eXtreme Masquerade takes over the Top of the Tower (8 p.m.) with Ballet X and DJ Captain Ridiculous.
Night of the Living Drag Queen comes to life at Rainbow Mountain Resort in East Stroudsburg (8 p.m.) with Scarlett Lettah and friends – and a dance party to follow.
Peter Sterling hosts his Halloween Ball (9 p.m.) at D’Ignazio’s Towne House Bar in Media to benefit the Special Olympics. Look for a special appearance from Brittany Lynn and her Drag Mafia – and a costume contest with oodles of prizes.
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Sims (pictured right) at the Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus Masquerade Ball this past weekend (courtesy of Sims)
Zombie Superman? Ben Franklin? A vampire? Or should he go Gangnam Style? PA’s soon-to-be first openly gay legislator Brian Sims wants you to help decide what he should wear for Halloween this month. “I hate fundraising. Period,” says Sims. “Campaigns should be about issues, policy and leadership, but unfortunately campaigns cost a lot of money. I spent a lot in my race, even went in to debt, and soon have to start fundraising for my next election.”
So he’s accepting votes with campaign contributions. Each $10 contribution counts as a vote. Folks can vote more than once, until this poll closes at 3 p.m. on October 26.
“The winning costume will be annouced that afternoon,” says Sims. ”If I’m going to have to fundraise – I’m at least going to have some fun with it.”
Click here to cast your vote.
For the third consecutive year, ActionAIDS is hosting Bar AIDS at area bars and coffeeshops to raise money for vital health services in Philadelphia. Inspired by “Dining Out for Life” in which participating restaurants share a percentage of profits to help fight the disease, Bar AIDS is raising dollars and sharing educational materials all day today.
In addition to having an adult beverage, tea or coffee for a great cause, participating venues will also be selling raffle tickets to win an all-expense paid vacation for two to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic courtesy of Apple Vacations and RIU Hotels and Resorts.
Volunteers from ActionAIDS, as well as the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, Mazzoni Center and Philadelphia FIGHT will also be available to collect donations, share vital information about prevention and to help sell raffles for the event – from breakfast to lunch and late night.
Some of our favorite bars and cafes are participating this year, including The Bike Stop, Knock, Nineteen, Square 1682 at the Hotel Palomar, Tabu, Tavern on Camac, U Bar, Woody’s and Voyeur. Click here for a full list of destinations.