Organizers thrilled with attendance, expect big sums for beneficiaries
DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
More than 10,000 people filled Cedar Springs Road for the Razzle Dazzle Dallas Main Event on June 4, according to organizers who said they had no way of knowing how well people would respond to the revival of the party that was last held in 2003.
“You just never know when you’re throwing a party,” said Razzle Dazzle Dallas President John Cooper-Lara.
Cooper-Lara said despite all the planning for the event, the board wasn’t sure whether people would show up. Cooper-Lara also serves president of the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, the beneficiary of Friday night’s MetroBall at Station 4. Although he didn’t have final figures he said the night set a record for the event.
“Deborah Cox was over the top,” he said. “And we were up in every category — ticket sales, silent auction, pre-event sales.”
He said GDMAF should be able to provide more assistance than ever as a result.
The fund steps in to help financially when other AIDS agencies can’t, meeting needs such as rent, medical co-payments and emergency utility assistance for low-income people living with AIDS.
Before final returns were counted, Cedar Springs Merchants Association President Scott Whittall said he was delighted with attendance. He said since all costs were covered in advance by sponsors, any money taken at the door in donations, at the booths and in beer sales goes to the beneficiaries.
Normally Dallas police estimate crowd size, but LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin said they didn’t get an estimate on Saturday night, June 4.
Although the street was blocked, admission was free and no one was counting the number who came through the gates.
The five-day event ended with a final party at the Brick, where Mr. and Miss Razzle Dazzle Dallas were chosen.
Gerald Alexander Paige and Weezie Davis were the winners and will end their year’s reign by performing at next year’s event.
The first runners-up were Kenny Bramlett and Vanessa Styles.
Lara-Cooper said the week’s events were more successful than the board expected.
“I think we hit a home run,” said Lara-Cooper.