William Way’s Homecoming

The center gets ready for Pride with a very special event

Courtesy of William Way

As Philly gets ready for Gay Pride this month, the William Way LGBT Community Center is welcoming friends to Homecoming 2012 (June 9 starting at 6 p.m.). More than 300 guests are expected to join the staff and board of directors at the center. “On this special night, we welcome friends of the center ‘home’ to celebrate building community and the richness and diversity of our unique culture,” says Christopher Bartlett, William Way’s executive director.

For this year’s celebration, guests will enjoy a Mediterranean dinner buffet to kick off the night’s festivities, along with speciality cocktails by El Dorado Rum and Tub Gin. There will also be an open beer and wine bar.

To help raise money, there will also be a silent auction with 50 items, including a membership to Optimal Sport Health Clubs, an overnight vacation package in Bucks County by Peddler’s Village and a Philly Theatre Package, which includes dozens of tickets to shows around town.

Courtesy of Mimi Imfurst

Bartlett says he will also pay tribute to a few honorees – one of whom is Avi Eden, an electronics industry business consultant and longtime ally to Philadelphia’s LGBT community who recently donated the 247 sign to the center.

Philadelphians MC is also being honored as the city’s longest-running gay men’s leather club. “Members have fundraised tirelessly over the past year to support ongoing restorations of the building, including complete renovations to the center’s second floor restroom,” says Bartlett.

The participants of Weigh It Forward, a weight-loss fundraiser and fitness program that promotes better health in the local LGBT community, will also be at the event showing off their results. Not only did the participants – Franny Price (president of Philly Pride Presents), Micah Mahjoubian (founder of Soapbox Solutions), Dan Calhoun (director of marketing and advertising at Philadelphia Gay News), and Debbie Spadafora (administrative manager at Woody’s) – lose weight during the well-publicized fitness experience, but they also raised money for Philly Pride, The Attic Youth Center and William Way.

The evening culminates with Mimi Imfurst, an alum from RuPaul’s Drag Race, headlining a special performance hosted by The Notorious OMG. Also expect to see The Goddess Isis, Tammy Faymous, Porcelain and the Liberty City Kings take to the stage along with Miss Mary Wanna and IdiosynCRAZY, a Philadelphia-based dance and theatre group that will be performing a choreographed routine to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” IdiosynCRAZY recently received a $50,000 grant from Dance Advance, an arm of the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage.

Homecoming 2012, June 9, 6 p.m., 1315 Spruce Street, 215-732-2220.