Local briefs • 10.14.11

RCD hosts ‘The 5 Factor’

Resource Center Dallas, in partnership with Dallas Modern Luxury, presents the third annual “The 5 Factor” event on Thursday, Oct. 20, at eM the venue by Marc, 1500 Dragon St. in Dallas.

“The 5 Factor” event recognizes five of Dallas’ finest in areas such as cuisine, fashion, media and literature.

This year’s “5 Factor” honorees are journalist and award-winning author Jenny Block; Emmy Award-winning journalist Ron Corning, who recently joined WFAA Channel 8 as the host of News 8 Daybreak; Dallas restaurant owner Monica Greene of Monica’s Aca Y Alla in Deep Ellum and BEE in Oak Cliff, who recently began providing commentary on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars for WFAA; award-winning fashion designer Prashi Shah who created her own label, Prashe, and recently opened a showroom in Dallas’ Design District; and Bronwen Weber, executive chef and general manager of Frosted Art Bakery and Studio in Dallas who is perhaps best known to many for her appearances on television’s Food Network Challenge programs.

The evening will be hosted by Angela Betasso, with state Rep. Eric L. Johnson and his wife as co-chairs and last year’s honorees serving as the honorary host committee.

General admission is $50 per person, available online at The5Factor.org. Proceeds benefit the programs and services of Resource Center Dallas.

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GLAAD holds ‘Get Amped’ 5K

The local chapter of GLAAD presents Get Amped, a 5K run/walk on the Katy Trail on Thursday, Oct. 20, in conjunction with similar chapter events around the country.
Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Center.

The starting gun goes off at 7 p.m. The celebration takes place at the finish line, also at the arena, at 9 p.m.

An after-party takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Round-Up Saloon.

Each runner has a goal of raising $250. The money raised will benefit the national organization.

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VNA holds Service of Remembrance

The Visiting Nurse Association will host a Service of Remembrance on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Preston Hollow United Methodist Church, 6315 Walnut Hill Lane in Dallas.

The event is open to the public and will feature special music, readings and the opportunity to light a memorial candle.

Attendees of all faiths are welcome to attend the service.

For more information call Sue Rafferty, bereavement coordinator with the Visiting Nurse Association, at 214-689-2922

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Dynamic duo

Double-duty workouts turn regular guys Davis Kennedy and Graham Cauthorn into Ironmen

fitness

TRIPLE THREATS | Kennedy, left, and Cauthorn compete in Ironman competitions: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride followed by a full marathon. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

While some people consider it a milestone to get to the gym twice a week, Davis Kennedy and Graham Cauthorn have made a lifestyle of working out almost twice daily — sometimes more often. This sunrise, sunset fitness routine is vital for their Ironman training (a triathlon event consisting of long distances of swimming, biking and running), but it comes with the bonus effect: Bodies that look like chiseled marble, even though both are over 40.

With the Austin Ironman competition around the corner in October, don’t be too surprised if you come across these fit fellas pedaling, splashing or sweating their way around North Texas.                                   

— Jef Tingley

Names and ages: Davis Kennedy, 40, and Graham Cauthorn, 47.

Length of relationship: Three years

Sports & activities: DIVA Volleyball, Lonestar Masters Swimming, Go3sports Triathlon team, softball and Ironman

Exercise regimen:  Kennedy: I bike and run each four times per week, swim two to three times per week and weight/core train two times per week (if can fit them in), so 10-12 workouts weekly depending on the schedule.

Biggest “out of commission” moment: Kennedy: I switched from softball to triathlons after having broken my hand and leg playing softball, and realizing I hurt less after a six-hour triathlon than a one-hour softball game.

Upcoming fitness goals: Both: Ironman 70.3 Austin in October and another full Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in June 2012.

Most rewarding fitness accomplishment:  Cauthorn: Finishing my first full Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 2010. It was an amazing experience and really great fun. The finish line is one of the most exhilarating experiences I have been fortunate enough to enjoy.
Kennedy: Finishing my first full Ironman at St. George, Utah. The finish line at an Ironman is an unbelievable experience after a long day. It’s like being a rock star on stage with all the people yelling and cheering.

Workout preference: mornings or evenings? Kennedy: With triathlon training, it’s both to fit in all the workouts.

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise indoors: Kennedy: Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center. The pool is awesome.

Least favorite workout activity: Cauthorn: Indoor cycling on the trainer!  During the winter months, keeping your cycling fitness requires indoor training, which to me is pure torture. Hate it!

If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why:  Cauthorn: A swimmer, probably, because it is my strongest event in triathlon. I was not a swimmer in school, but joined Lone Star Masters when I first moved to Dallas in 1989, and turns out, I am pretty good at it.

How do you reward yourself for a great workout: Both: A big cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake at Fat Daddy’s Burgers in Casa Linda.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 30, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Dynamic duos

Anytime Fitness owners Renee Reed and Jacqui Bliss raise a son — and barbells — together

WORKIN’ IT | Reed, left, and Bliss stay fit and happy at their gym in Oak Cliff. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

As part of our recurring feature on Dynamic Duos, we talk with out couples in the community who might not work together, but who do workout together.

But in the case of Jacqui Bliss and Renee Reed, they actually do work together, as co-owners of Anytime Fitness in the Bishop Arts District. But in addition to running a gym, they also occupy themselves raising a child.

— Jef Tingley

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Names and ages: Jacqui Bliss, 34; and Renee Reed, 40.

Occupations: Co-owners, Anytime Fitness Club and personal trainers

Years together: 9

Exercise regimen:  Bliss: It varies. I mix it up with cycling, running, bodyweight intervals, kettle bell work, ViPR lifts and free weights. On an average week, I exercise six days and the time ranges from 30 minutes to two hours or more (if cycling).

Reed: I do strength training two to three times a week, mostly with free weights and cable machines. I like to run at least once a week and use cardio machines a couple of times, too. At home I do my own short, intense boot camp-style workouts, which were born out of the need to do a time-efficient workout while our son was napping.

Do you play sports or are you on any leagues? Reed: I don’t play any team sports now, although I played college basketball and rugby at Dartmouth and ran track and played basketball in high school.

Most memorable athletic goal accomplished:  Bliss: Competing in the USARA Championships in San Diego. Adventure racing is like no other sport and quite possibly is the most physically and mentally challenging endeavor I’ve participated in.

Reed: Crossing the finish line of the San Diego marathon with Jacqui was awesome (even if I made her slow down the last two miles so we could finish together). As an assistant basketball coach at the University of Illinois, we took an underdog team to the NCAA Sweet 16 against all the odds. We had a group of hardworking Midwest ladies that just played their hearts out. It was an amazing experience. And as a player, I remember hitting a 10-foot jumper for the win over Columbia.

Upcoming fitness goals: Bliss: To keep challenging myself and applying what I learn to my profession.

Reed: During this upcoming decade, I have to become a better swimmer and work swimming and yoga into my routine. I have to accept that in my 40s, my body has some different needs.

Workouts — mornings or evenings: Bliss: Whenever I can fit it in. Most of the time, it’s around lunchtime as I’m with clients in the mornings and evenings.

Reed: Morning.

Least favorite exercise or piece of gym equipment: Reed: There’s nothing in a gym that I actually dislike, but I’m not fond of swimming. As I mentioned, I need to learn to love it!

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise outdoors: Bliss: White Rock Lake and my backyard.

Reed: I like to run around Kessler Park and North Oak Cliff, going north of Colorado if I’m game for some hills. I love the trees and looking at all the different architecture.

Favorite spot in North Texas to exercise indoors: Anytime Fitness in the Bishop Arts District, of course!

If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why: Bliss: Track and field. I still get goose bumps watching track meets. The nervous energy is unbelievable. Knowing you are going out and giving your all and that your body is on the line to perform.

Reed: Basketball. I love being part of a small team that performs together as a unit. With the seating down close to the court (as opposed to an open field), the energy of the crowd is electrifying!

How do you reward yourself after a great workout or an accomplished fitness goal: Bliss: I need to work on that. I don’t give myself a reward per se. I would say my greatest reward is in how I feel after a great workout: Unstoppable, and filled with positive energy.

Reed: After a good run or cardio workout, the endorphins are enough of a reward, so is a compliment from someone in the gym. But I believe in celebrating victories, whether big or small. When we were approaching a milestone with our membership base, I kept a bottle of champagne on ice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 29, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Lady Raja

Raja
SHANTAY, SHE STAYED | Raja Gemini was announced this week as winner of Season 3 of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race.’

‘Drag Race’ winner Raja had to keep a poker face for 8 months, but now she welcomes the papa, paparazzi

RuPaul’s Drag Race crossed the finish line this week, and the best woman won. Sutan Amrull, better known as Raja Gemini, kept her eye on the prize since the first episode and ended up being crowned the next drag superstar.

This 6-foot-3 Los Angelo, who is part Dutch and part Indonesian, is no stranger to reality television, having appeared on America’s Next Top Model as the show’s principal make-up artist and serving as Adam Lambert’s face painter for his tour. In short, Raja knows glam and glitter on the road.

After winning a close race, Raj was crowned the winner and rose early the day after to chat about his experience on the show.
— Jerry Nunn

Dallas Voice: How do you feel now that the experience is over? Raja Gemini: I don’t think it has really hit me. I have been keeping the secret since August, even from my parents. I didn’t even talk to my mom about it. She seems to have known, though. She said, “A mother always knows…”

Do you think the judges were fair? I think for the most part the judges were fair. I think Delta Work should have stayed longer. I don’t think they really understood her humor.

Did you have a favorite celebrity judge? There were a few of them. I couldn’t believe that my season had two of my greatest idols: Vanessa Williams and Jody Watley. Jody Watley was a style icon for me since I was a boy in junior high. I wanted to wear giant earrings when I saw her. For her to be there as one of the judges, and Vanessa Williams as well, was a really huge deal for me.

How old were you when you first did drag? Experimenting with it, probably about 15. I have been doing drag all of my life. I was that kid that played dress up all the time, wearing different sheets and dishtowels. I made costumes. I was really getting into it by 16 years old.

People are saying you were friends with RuPaul before the show. People have made a lot more [out of it] than it really is. I have been a makeup artist for a very long time and have crossed paths with a lot of people. Ru at one point lived in L.A. and was a big fan of the L.A. drag scene. She went to all of the shows and I would see her quite often. We weren’t friends where we would call each other up and talk about boy, financial or family problems — we were just aware of each other’s presence. That’s inevitable when you work within an industry. I wouldn’t even say that Ru and I were acquaintances.

Where did you learn makeup? I was actually an art student and went to University of Orange County in California. I tried to be a student and hated it. I decided to be a makeup artist and then a female impersonator!
What are your plans for the prize money?  Actually, I am going to spend it wisely. I am going to pay off all of my bills No. 1, and clean my plate. I will be able to focus on working now. I will be elaborating and creating a brand, if you will.

Some of the money must go back into your act and the latest outfit. You know, it really does. It is very true when they say, “You have to spend money to make money.” Drag is expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. I am a pretty frugal drag queen and I love a bargain. I am definitely a thrift shopper. I love going to flea markets. It doesn’t always have to be that expensive.

Do you regret fighting with Shangela on the show? No, I love it. I love watching Drag Race and love, love, love watching Untucked as well. That’s my favorite thing! I watch it with all of my friends. We totally laugh and cackled at everything Shangela says. She is brilliant and super smart. She is a really great person. She has a bright future ahead of her.

So you don’t have beef with anyone on the show then? Not at all, not that I can think of…

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 29, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas

Friendships of a lifetime from LifeWalk

Editor’s note: This is the second on a series of four columns by past co-chairs of the AIDS Arms LifeWalk that will be published in Dallas Voice leading up to the 20th anniversary of the event on Oct. 10.

Deiadra Burns | Special contributor

Deiadra Burns, left, her partner, Sandra Howell, and their dog, Tesuque.
Deiadra Burns, left, her partner, Sandra Howell, and their dog, Tesuque.

I moved to Dallas in 1995 and at the time was living in the closet as a young, single lesbian Republican.

A neighbor and dear friend, Kathy Hewitt, asked if I would volunteer for LifeWalk. I believe it was simply because I had a big truck and she thought I was a fit to help out with operations and the route.

It’s all history from there.

I served on the committee for six years, co-chairing the event the last two of those years.

It was a humbling experience to help those in need and to volunteer for a wonderful agency. My eyes were opened to the LGBT community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and all that it can do for an individual.

It gave me strength, empowerment and friendships of a lifetime.

LifeWalk holds a special place in my and my partner Sandra Howell’s hearts.

Sandra has spent most of her career fighting infectious disease as a pharmacist in the community, and I simply like to give back to the community by volunteering and raising money. LifeWalk brought us together, and it is an event that we have shared in our relationship and throughout our family.

All of the many friends we volunteered with while we both served on the committee are true friends and “family” now.

While there are so many special memories over the years, one of our most memorable LifeWalks was the first year LifeWalk teamed up with Luke’s Locker and a race was added. We had several friends win in their perspective categories (including Sandra) and it was also the first year we were able to take our pup, Tesuque, to the walk. He was the first dog to cross the finish line!!

I hope you will all join us all in the LifeWalk spirit for the 20th anniversary. AIDS Arms is a great agency, and LifeWalk is a great event and a great fundraiser that provides for our community — both straight and gay.

The 20th anniversary AIDS Arms LifeWalk takes place Sunday, Oct. 10, beginning at 1 p.m. at Lee Park. To register, go online to LifeWalk.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 24, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas

Rolling in for Pride

Girdano’s bike trek ends with reception, parade

PEDAL TO THE METTLE | Girdano will arrive back in Dallas just in time to roll in for the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade. (Photo courtesy Michael Jackson)

Not every journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step — sometimes, there’s pedaling involved.

That’s how Danielle Girdano is finding her way to Dallas Pride: Atop two wheels and a lot of guts.

Girdano set out with her Ride the Arc tour earlier this summer to raise awareness about (and money for) teen suicide, especially among gay youth. Her mission: A 1,200-mile bicycle ride from the Midwest, ending in Dallas just in time for the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

Her mammoth trek ends Saturday, as she rides down Cedar Springs Road, alighting at the finish line between the Round-Up Saloon and TMC at 5 p.m.

“We are planning a huge street reception,” says Alan Pierce, co-owner of the Round-Up. “Gay Bingo is that same night, so we are going to divert the waiting line to get into bingo to keep them on the street a few minutes longer. [We want] a show of unity of the [gay] community for what Danielle has accomplished.”

Squeezing the brakes won’t be the end of Girdano’s feat by any means. On Saturday night, she’ll be welcomed at two after-parties (one for 21-and-under at Buli, one for 21-and-up at the Round-Up); then on Saturday, she will help inaugurate the parade by re-crossing the finish line in front of the judges’ stand.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 17, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

LSR Journal: Because it’s fun to help others

Jacob Comer
Jacob Comer

By Jacob Comer Team Dallas Voice

My name is Jacob. I am 11 years old, and I just started sixth grade. This year, I am working on the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS pit stop crew with my mom, Sandra.

I like to ride my bike. Last year, when I was in fifth grade and the school I went to was closer to my house, I would ride my bike to school.
One day, I want to be a rider in Lone Star Ride. But that will have to wait until I am older and can ride farther.

Last year, my mom was riding her bike in Lone Star Ride. But she had a wreck and hurt her hand.

When she came home and I saw that her hand was hurt, I was upset, and I said I didn’t want her to ride any more. But then she told me why she was riding.

She told me that the reason for Lone Star Ride is to raise money for people who have a disease called AIDS. She said that AIDS makes you really feel bad and you have to take lots of medicine all the time.

She also said that the medicines cost lots of money and it is hard for people to pay for the medicines they need, especially because AIDS makes people so sick that sometimes they can’t work to make money.

So people who have AIDS sometimes can’t pay for food or for a place to live. It made me very sad to think of that.
Mom told me that Lone Star Ride raises money to help people with AIDS get their medicine and have somewhere to live and food to eat.

So when she said she was going to volunteer again this year, I told her I wanted to volunteer, too. I want to do something to help people who are already sick, and I want to help other people keep from getting AIDS.

One time this summer, Mom and I went to one of the Lone Star Ride training rides. We rode in our car to make sure that the people on their bikes were OK.

If someone started feeling bad or got too tired to ride any more, we picked them up and drove them back to the finish line.

It was so much fun. I love to work with my family and people that I know, and I love to meet new people and make new friends. Lone Star Ride is a great way to do that.

It was so much fun to go by the people on their bikes and cheer for them and wave to them.

It is fun to help people.

Why don’t you come and ride with us or volunteer for the crew so that you can have fun helping people, too?

A note from Jake’s mom: There are a lot of adults out there who either don’t see the importance of participating in Lone Star Ride or other such events, or who aren’t willing to give the time and put out the effort to be part of something that is so important.

And to know that my son, at 11 years old, is already thoughtful and kind-hearted enough to make this sort of commitment makes me very, very proud.

I know that it takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to ride a bike 150 miles over two days.

And yes, it takes time and effort and dedication to volunteer for one of the crew positions.

But that time and effort is nothing compared to the good that you can do for people living with AIDS who need your help.

Even if you can’t ride or crew, you can donate to someone who is.

So come on — join me and Jake and do your part for the Lone Star Ride and the people it serves.   

To donate to Jacob or to another LSR rider or crew member, go online to LoneStarRide.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 27, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas