Miss LifeWalk 2014 is …

Miss LifeWalk contestants 2014

Heidi Liqueur, left, and Siena Silver, Brianna Michelle and Rosio Bencos.

… Heidi Liqueur!

Last night in the Rose Room, the LifeWalk Green Team contestant  faced off against three other awesome drag divas to take the crown at the 11th annual fundraiser preliminary for October’s walk, which benefits AIDS Arms. Heidi’s dazzling beaded gown, in the same red-and-white colors as her Chick-Fil-A dress (which she performed to the “Hold On” parody “Chow Down”) while serving chicken tenders to the audience, won over the judges (and I was one of them!) in a satisfying finale. But all four entrant were insanely talented and impressive, from Siena Silver’s rainbow-accented dress following a champagne accented evening-wear gown, to Rosio Bencos’ back-up dancers and elaborate costume, to Brianna Michelle’s pink-and-emerald palette.

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The winner being cheered

Heidi won individual awards for Spirit of Miss LifeWalk and for evening wear and talent in addition to the overall prize, while Siena took Miss Congeniality and Brianna won Miss Moneybags for raising the most for AIDS Arms — $7,400! In total, the event took in a staggering $21,628 — $4,000 more than last year.

The show was a hoot, with primary host Heather Thomas bullying the crowd into donating more and more money, and five former Miss LifeWalk winners performing, with all money going to the charity. Victoria Weston wowed the audience with two live performances. Outgoing Miss LifeWalk Vida Chardonnay did a tribute to Elaine Stritch that stunned everyone. We’ll post a full slideshow under Photos later.

LifeWalk takes place Oct. 5, and it’s never too late to volunteer or participate.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Gaybingo this weekend!

Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 12.31.00 PMOK, we’ll admit to a little self-interest here: The Elizabeth Trail’rs, Dallas Voice’s LifeWalk team, is the charitable raffle sponsor at Gaybingo this weekend. That means while you help Resource Center Dallas — and enjoy yourself with a fabulous series of games — you can also help out our team. We’ve even made it really easy for you: This poster tells you everything you need to know (it’s Saturday, starting at 5 p.m., at the Rose Room) and even includes a QR code for easy scanning.

C’mon! You know you wanna win some faboo swag! Give a guy some love…

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Ryan Roach memorial, fundraisers set

Ryan and Robert Rain

Ryan Roach and Robert Rain in a production of ‘Blood Brothers.’

We reported yesterday about the passing of beloved local actor Ryan Roach. In addition to the viewing scheduled for tonight, and the funeral tomorrow morning (both in Denton), there are other developments in honoring Ryan.

On Saturday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m., friends and family will gather at the Kalita Humphreys Theater for a memorial service celebrating his life. On Aug. 26, Amy Stevenson’s cabaret show Mama’s Party in Grand Prairie will be dedicated to Ryan, and donations will be taken.

Finally, an online fund has also been established already to help defray to medical and funeral expenses to Ryan’s family. In just two days, it is already nearly 40 percent funded. You can help out by clicking here to contribute.

 

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Brian Mooney raises nearly $10K more toward medical bills

Mooney BBQ

Last week I wrote about a fundraising effort for Brian Mooney, who worked at the Dallas Eagle and is now fighting colon cancer and needed $20,000 for medical bills. There was an online way to give, and a barbecue on Sunday to help him out.

MooneyWell, the gay community knows how to take care of its own. Since Wednesday, the online giving has grown more than $4,000 (from just under $6,000 to now more than $10,200). Even better, the cookout at the Eagle yesterday was a smash. Benefit organizer Charlie McDonald tells me management at the bar brought in about $5,000 for Brian (pictured seated with the face mask). That puts him within arm’s reach of meeting his goal. Considering it was on Mother’s Day, you could hardly have expected more.

You can still give online, though. Let’s do what we can to support someone in need.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Visit Genghis Grill today to help AOC

As lunchtime rolls around, think about how tasty stir fry is when the proceeds go toward a good cause.

If you’re in Fort Worth today or feel like taking a long lunch, head over to the Genghis Grill at 4469 Bryant Irvin Road in Cowtown.

Orders for dine-in and take out from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. will have 20 percent of the proceeds donated to AIDS Outreach Center.

Just mention AOC when you check out and the percentage will be donated to the organization. You can also order online.

 

—  Anna Waugh

How to get tickets for YFTCC fundraiser

Vigil that inspired the fundraiser

In Friday’s paper we printed a brief about a fundraiser Youth First Texas Collin County is running to raise money for Crime Stoppers in connection with the murder of Mollie Olgin and the shooting of Kristene Chapa. But we forgot to let you know how to get tickets.

Go here to get tickets on the Collin County Gay and Lesbian alliance website.

YFTCC youth Kris Wong, who will attend Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall, came home from the Dallas vigil held for Olgin and Chapa energized to do something. With YFTCC volunteer Lisa Mashigian, they put together the bowling fundraiser with the goal of raising $1000. With three weeks preparation time, they hope to get 60 people involved.

“The response from Collin County LGBTQA organizations and people has been wonderful,” Mashigian said.

CCGLA has set up a payment system and is sending the event out to its members. Equality Texas, BB&T, Business Network of Collin County, YFT Dallas and other individuals have made donations to the gift bags. Collin County employee resource groups have also been notified.

Mashigian said that this is not just a Collin County event and hopes to see a good turnout.

—  David Taffet

Palomar hires new director of pet relations

The Hotel Palomar has announced another major staffing change. No, Graham Dodd is still the exec chef at Central 214. The new employe goes by a single name: Higgins, director of pet relations.

The position of pet relations is a demanding one, as the Kimpton property is proudly pet- (and gay-) friendly, with food and water bowls and hotel I.D. and “wag bags” provided for four-legged guests.

You can welcome Higgins, a beagle mix, to his new job at a fundraiser for Paws in the City on Thursday at a meet-and-greet, with wine and cocktails, food, pet adoptions and a pet costume contest all covered by the $20 donation. Plus, you can get 25 percent off the pet-friendly rate, which would more than rebate the donation.

I’m well-known as a sucker for dogs, and Higgins is a cute one! I adopted one of my dogs from Paws i the City. It’s a good cause.

The event takes place tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Dallas Voice staff gets into the food truck craze to benefit Hope Cottage

We’ve been fans of food truck culture for a while (we even added a “best food truck” category to our Readers Voice Awards this year), so it was with enthusiasm that last Thursday, on what is usually a busy production day for us in the news biz, we shut down the offices for an entire hour and high-tailed it across the street to Hope Cottage, which was having a food truck fundraiser. Four trucks were there, selling lunch items, and allowing attendees to “vote” by tipping their favorites — all to benefit Hope Cottage.

From the Abbey Road-esque exodus to the face stuffing by all involved, it was a great afternoon. Ah, memories … oh, wait, this was just last week. More photos after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Business Briefs: AssociaTitle names Mark Sadlek director of business development

AssociaTitle names Mark Sadlek director of business development

Mark Sadlek

AssociaTitle announced it appointed Mark J. Sadlek director of business development at its corporate headquarters in the heart of Uptown Dallas at Crescent Court.

“We are thrilled to be adding Mark Sadlek to the AssociaTitle team,” said AssociaTitle President Paul Reyes. “He is a seasoned real estate professional in the Dallas area with a track record of proven success and will serve both our clients and our company well.”

Sadlek joins AssociaTitle from Republic Title of Texas, where he served as vice president of business development and director of coaching services. He worked to build and promote the company externally with Realtors, developers and lenders. His focus also included business coaching and training.

He has also served as vice president of business development for American Title and as home mortgage consultant for Shelter Mortgage & Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Previous to his work in the North Dallas real estate industry, Sadlek worked in marketing and sales for almost 20 years and was intimately involved in the start-up of two companies, VerCeram and Velux-America.

For the past nine years, Sadlek has worked in the North Dallas real estate industry, building positive relationships with local Realtors and lenders. He was awarded the 2010 Affiliate of the Year Award from MetroTex Association of Realtors, served on the MetroTex Board as an affiliate appointee board member, and chaired the Affiliate Forum Committee of MetroTex.

He was a co-founder and co-chair of Leadership Lambda Inc., an LGBT leadership development organization. He was also a board member of Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and has chaired the Heart Strings Fundraiser at the Majestic Theatre. Additionally, Sadlek served on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign, as well as a co-chair of the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Club.

Ernst & Young Announces Gross Up for Jan. 1

On Jan. 1, Ernst & Young joined more than 30 major U.S. employers that are equalizing the pay for gay and lesbian employees by covering the cost of state and federal taxes for domestic partners.

Employees enrolled in domestic partner benefits incur additional taxes as the value of those benefits is treated as taxable income under federal law, while the value of opposite-sex spousal benefits is not.

Federal law treats domestic partner benefits differently from federally-recognized spousal benefits.

—  David Taffet

LOCAL BRIEFS: Brite hosts therapy discussion, RCD unveils new website

Brite hosts therapy discussion

FORT WORTH — Brite Divinity School will host an evening conversation addressing practices of therapy for the LGBT community on Monday, Feb. 27.

Marshall.Joretta

Joretta Marshall

Speakers will discuss “reparative therapy” as well as “factors that contribute to a helpful experience of affirming therapy for LGBTQI persons.”

Speakers include Dr. David Jenkins from Brite’s School of Social Work who will share some of his research on what makes for good and helpful therapeutic work. Brite’s newly appointed dean, Joretta Marshall, and Cody Sanders will also serve on the panel.

The discussion, which is free and open to the public, runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Brite Divinity School, Bass Conference Center, 2925 Princeton St., Fort Worth.

RCD unveils new website

Resource Center Dallas has redesigned its website to provide easier access to its assortment of services and events.

One of the new features on the website is “Share Your Story,” and RCD wants to hear from people in the community. Drawings will be held April 15, Aug. 15 and Dec. 15 to win tickets to GayBingo. To enter, go to www.rcdallas.org/about-the-center/share-your-story.

“How has Resource Center Dallas changed your life? Perhaps our education and advocacy made things better in your workplace. Maybe volunteering with one of our programs reinforced your reasons for giving back to the community. Did our services help improve or restore your health? Or, maybe the Center’s staff and volunteers went above and beyond to assist you.”

Lone Star Ride kick-off party

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS hosts its first fundraiser of the season on Wednesday, Feb. 29.

Simpson.Danny

Danny Simpson

LSR will receive 10 percent of alcohol sales. Complimentary food will be served. Get a wristband at the door.

The happy hour is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sangria, 4524 Cole Ave., Dallas. To attend, email LRS co-chair Danny Simpson at danny@77nmotion.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas