On Saturday, members and supporters of the Mazzoni Center took over the Wells Fargo Bank and Museum for its fourth-annual Elixir Gala. The sold-out party, with the theme “Out Is the New In,” included a well-stocked open bar, delicious food, and a silent auction with prizes ranging from laser hair removal to GayBINGO tickets to a seven-night luxury trip to the Caribbean. When the mingling portion of the evening subsided, Master of Ceremonies Jim Donovan took the stage to announce this year’s 2014 Elixir Honorees. (But first a few photos from the evening, from Freedom G Photography’s Tara Lessard.)
The Mazzoni Center received an unexpected gift recently when it was notified that it would receive $100,000 from the estate of a Conshohocken native who later moved to San Francisco.
Thomas M. Dross passed away in San Francisco on January 7, 2012. He was born and raised in Conshohocken, educated at Widener in Chester, Pa., and later moved to San Francisco where he worked in marketing and advertising, and founded a popular restaurant, Upstairs, Downstairs. Upon his death he requested that his $2.1 million estate go to support HIV/AIDS charities, so when passed his co-executors set out to choose the organizations that would receive gifts. Most of the beneficiaries are located on the West Coast, but knowing Dross wanted to make a difference in his hometown, the co-executors decided to send money to Philly’s own Mazzoni Center. The donation marks one of the largest single contribution in the organization’s history.