Local Briefs

Razzle Dazzle Dallas announces launch of new event website

Organizers of the newly revived Razzle Dazzle Dallas have announced the launch of a new RDD website, where interested individuals can keep up with the latest news on the event, set for June 1-5, and register to become RDD volunteers or corporate sponsors.

The 2011 Razzle Dazzle Dallas will benefit eight local LGBT or HIV/AIDS organizations: Youth First Texas, Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, Cedar Springs Merchants Association Beautification Fund, Legacy Counseling/Founders Cottage, Lone Star Ride and Dallas Legal Hospice.

The new website is at RazzleDazzleDallas.org. For more information, e-mail info@razzledazzledallas.org or call 214-450-8238.

Oak Cliff UU Church holding special ‘It Gets Better’ service, video filming

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff will present a special service Sunday, Feb. 13, at 10 a.m. in honor of the “It Gets Better” Project, started in response to the suicides of LGBT teens who had been bullied and harassed, and all those who stand against hatred and intolerance.

After the services on both Feb. 13 and Feb. 20, the church invites the community to share “It Gets Better” stories, which will be recorded, edited and posted online.

Go online to ItGetsBetter.org for information on the It Gets Better Project, and to OakCliffUU.org for information on and directions to the church. Interested individuals can also call Jan Brubaker at 214-907-9812 for information.

Bloomin’ Ball Launch Party set for Feb. 16 in private home

The 2011 Bloomin’ Ball Launch Party will be held Wednesday, Feb. 16 at a private home. The $10 suggested donation at the door includes complimentary light hors d’oeuvres, wine and valet parking.

The annual Bloomin’ Ball benefits AIDS Interfaith Network. For more information or to RSVP, contact Gretchen G. Kelly at 214-943-4444.

Researcher at UNT looking for participants for relationship study

The Center for Psychosocial Health Research from the University of North Texas is conducting a study of health and conflict within the LGBT population and is looking for LGBT individuals over 18 and fluent in English who have experienced conflict in a same-sex relationship.

Those who complete the survey will receive $20. For information on participating, email cphprojectheart@gmail.com or call 940-891-6844.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 4, 2011.

—  John Wright

Razzle Dazzle Dallas now has a website

Razzle Dazzle Dallas, the LGBT event held annually for 26 years through 2003, is returning after an eight-year absence the first week of June.

This week organizers launched a website, RazzleDazzleDallas.org, and announced sponsors and beneficiaries.

The presenting sponsor for the event is Bud Light. Other sponsors include ilume, the Warwick Melrose Hotel and Dallas Voice.

Razzle Dazzle was always a fundraising event, and organizers have named eight beneficiaries this year — Youth First Texas, Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, the Cedar Springs Merchants Association Beautification Fund, Legacy Counseling/Founders Cottage, Lone Star Ride and Legal Hospice of Texas.

Rather than just a one-night party, Razzle Dazzle will be a five-day event beginning June 1 with a wine and dog walk sponsored by the Cedar Springs Merchants Association.

On Thursday, June 2, a “Pub Crawl” will travel by shuttle buses to participating Dallas-area nightclubs.

MetroBall at Station 4 on Friday, June 3 will be an evening of dancing, raffles and fundraising, as well as entertainment.

During the day of Saturday, June 4 the Cedar Springs Merchants Association will host a street fair and sale.  The main event, the Razzle Dazzle Dallas street party, will fill Cedar Springs that night.

Razzle Dazzle wraps up on Sunday, June 5 with closing parties at participating Oak Lawn nightclubs.

For updates, follow Razzle Dazzle Dallas on Facebook and Twitter.

—  David Taffet

WATCH: Dallas Bears Chili Cook-off

The Dallas Bears hosted their first Chili Cook-Off at the Hidden Door on Saturday afternoon. Seventeen LGBT organizations and individual competitors vied for tickets while raising money for charities.

“This year our beneficiaries are Youth First, AIDS Services of Dallas and AIDS Interfaith Network,” said Bears President Wayne Davis.

For $5 local tasters received six spoons, a bowl and a ticket to vote on the best chili.

“Our focus is raising money for AIDS-related charities throughout our community,” said Bears Treasurer Devon DeVasqez.

Despite cool weather, the crowd quickly swelled to more than 150 tasters coming and going.

“We all need to give back to the community in whatever form or fashion we can,” said Larry Finch, former DB president. “Whether it’s our time, our money or just our support to the organizations.”

From “sweet with a kick” to “hot and spicy,” competitors enticed tasters with various prepared chili creations. As the crowd began to fill up and wind down, an auction was held while tickets and scores were tallied.

There were seven winners:

• Best Tasting Chili: The SLUTS

• Best Theme Presentation: The United Court of the Lone Star Empire

• Best Individual Entry: Doctor Dang

• Best Group Entry: TGRA

• Hottest Chili: Discipline Core 2 of 2

• Community Favorite, which received the most tickets: United Court of the Lone Star Empire

But the grand title, Best Overall, went to Butch Compton.

“It’s all out of good fun,” Compton said upon receiving his trophy and certificate. “I enjoy the happiness on people’s faces when they eat something that’s tasty.”

—  admin

A year’s worth of giving

LEATHER KNIGHTS DONATE | Leather Knights President Jason Kloss, front left, and Charitable Events Chair Derrick Dawson present a check to Steven Pace and Larry Finch of AIDS Interfaith Network for $1,001 raised during the Dragon Lady of the Realm pageant in February. AIN was one of four organizations who received donations from the Leather Knights during a reception at Youth First Texas on Monday, Dec. 13. Youth First Texas received $1,404 raised during the Buy Daddy’s Box auction in November. The dental clinic at the Nelson-Tebedo Health Center received $1,200 raised during Military Manuevers in November. And AIDS Services of Dallas received $2,000 raised during AWOL 2 in May.

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

—  Michael Stephens

TI will be presenting sponsor for Bloomin’ Ball

Steve Pace, executive director of AIDS Interfaith Network, has announced that Texas Instruments has signed on as presenting sponsor of AIN’s annual spring fundraising party, The Bloomin’ Ball: Sowing Seeds of Hope.

Pace said this marks the first major sponsorship for Bloomin’ Ball, but he noted that TI has long been a benefactor for the AIDS services organization, having contributed about $300,000 to AIN since 2003.

Andy Smith, director of corporate philanthropy at TI, said, “TI is a company that believes strongly in inclusion and giving back to the community. Proceeds from the Bloomin’ Ball benefit the programs of AIN, which literally change lives and provide clients with help and hope.”

The 2011 Bloomin’ Ball is scheduled for May 7, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, with Smith and Paul von Wupperfeld, both of whom work at TI, as co-chairs, and Tim and Thom DeWitt as honorary co-chairs. Sponsorships and tickets are available online at AIDSInterfaithNetwork.org.

—  admin

Leather Knights begin another year of fundraising with a New Year’s party, and you’re invited

Jason Kloss

On Monday night, Leather Knights distributed checks from several events held during the year to AIDS Services of Dallas, Resource Center Dallas, Youth First Texas and AIDS Interfaith Network.

Jason Kloss, president of Leather Knights, said he’s having a New Year’s party and asked us to help him invite the community.

“All I am asking of my guests is to consider bringing a donation to benefit either the Food Pantry or AIDS Services Dallas-Hillcrest House,” he said. “They prefer daily hygiene products (toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, razors, deodorant) or non-perishable food items (canned goods, pasta, condiments).”

Kloss said the party will feature an open bar and any tips to the volunteer bartenders will benefit AIN. Any other donations will also go to the beneficiaries.

The party starts at 9 p.m. on Dec. 31. E-mail Jason for directions.

—  David Taffet

AIN hits $10,000 fundraising goal, gets matching grant from Moody Foundation

Steven Pace

Back on Monday, Nov. 9, I posted this item here on Instant Tea pointing out that AIDS Interfaith Network had one week left to raise a total of $10,000 in order to get a grant from The Moody Foundation that would match the donations, dollar for dollar.

Well, you guys came through. AIN hit its goal and earned the matching grant!

This comes from Steve Pace, AIN’s executive director:

“To give you an idea of what that means to the clients we serve, $10,000 can provide: 400 DART bus passes so clients with HIV/AIDS can access medical services necessary to maintaining their health; or more than 1,650 nutritious, sustaining meals for our most vulnerable clients.”

Let me tell you, AIN — and all our AIDS service organizations — really know how to make every penny count. And thank goodness, otherwise there would be a lot of people going without food, without housing, without clothing, without their medications and without proper medical care.

But even though AIN hit its $10,000 goal, Pace points out, “We’re not claiming victory yet. Did you know there are still people right here in Dallas who are homeless, starving and living with HIV/AIDS? We typically see more people in need of food and assistance during the winter, so your continued support is crucial.”

So as we head into the holiday season, take a minute to stop and count your blessings. I bet you will find out you are more blessed than you realize. And then, share those blessings with people in need. Donate to AIDS Interfaith or one of our other outstanding AIDS service agencies, or to some other charitable cause. It will add more to your life than you can imagine. Just like Jesus said, “As you give, so shall you receive.”

—  admin

AIDS Interfaith facing fundraising shortfall

Steven Pace

In October, members of the staff here at Dallas Voice spent one Saturday night participating in AIDS Interfaith Network’s Saturday Night Live program, providing an evening meal to some of the agency’s clients who might have otherwise not had a hot meal over the weekend. It was an excellent opportunity for us to see firsthand some of AIN’s outstanding programs, not to mention, to personally meet some of the wonderful people AIN serves.

So today when I opened an e-mail from Steven Pace, AIN’s executive director, and saw that the agency is in need of funds — quick — I knew I wanted to pass the information along here on Instant Tea in hopes of helping the agency meet their goal.

AIN has less than a week — until Monday, Nov. 15 — to hit the $10,000 goal, and when Pace sent the e-mail yesterday, the agency was still $3,000 short.

You might be able to donate only a small amount, and you think that your little gift wouldn’t really matter. But Pace points out, “Thanks to a generous grant from The Moody Foundation, your gift of $50, $100, or even $250 will be matched dollar-for-dollar.”

So every little bit counts, and it can count double.

Pace adds: “Everyday at AIN we see the impact that generous donors like yourself make in the lives of those we serve. From a hot meal or a ride to a doctor’s appointment for a client living with HIV/AIDS, to valuable prevention education for those at risk, your support matters.”

Go here to contribute.

—  admin

United Court elects new emperor

Jimmie Tucker
Emperor Jimmie Tucker

Sir Jimmie Tucker was elected Emperor 36 of the United Court of the Lone Star Empire. Tucker’s election was announced at Coronation 36, “A Night of Big Bands and Country Swing,” at the Crown Plaza hotel on Saturday Oct, 30.

More than 200 people attended the crowning of Emperor Jimmie. Because no one ran for empress, a regent was expected to be appointed. In an unprecedented move, two regent empresses, Keri Lynn Sommers and Mother Love St. James, were named to assist Emperor Jimmie during his reign.

The UCLSE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds for other nonprofit groups. Coronation 36 celebrated the accomplishments of Emperor 35 Jeff Germany and Empress 35 Audrey Jo Schwartz, who raised more than $30,000.

That money will be distributed to their beneficiaries on Nov. 20 at the Brick during an event dubbed “Ride the Dragon.” Groups receiving money include AIDS Interfaith Network, Resource Center Dallas’ HIV/AIDS food pantry, the Susan G. Koman Foundation, Health Services of North Texas, and Youth First Texas. Emperor Jimmie and Co-Regent Empresses Keri Lyn and Mother Love will invest their new court that night as well.

—  David Taffet

Best Bets • 09.24.10

Friday 09.24

Corny dogs, here we come
The State Fair of Texas is upon us once again and that means fried foods, dizzying rides and emptied wallets — and it’s totally worth it. We’re still making up our mind on the new fried beer on the menu, but the Texas Fried Frito Pie sounds like a dream and a nightmare for any personal trainer. But who cares? It’s the Fair!

DEETS: Fair Park, 1300 Robert B Cullum Blvd. Through Oct. 17. $15. BigTex.com.

Sunday 09.26

Classic lit without the reading
This image from the cover of “The Great Gatsby” instilled dread among middle and high school students. But AIDS Interfaith Network turns the classic novel about the roaring ’20s into fab times with “The Great Gatsby…Get Your Flap On.” Complete with jazz, bubbly and fundraising, it almost makes you want to read it again. Almost.

DEETS: Union Station, 400 S. Houston St. 2 p.m. $75–$125. AIDSInterfaithNetwork.org

Wednesday 09.29

WaterTower is getting Wilder
Terry Martin does double duty as director and actor in “Our Town,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Thornton Wilder. The tales of the ordinary folk of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire come alive in this season opener for WaterTower.

DEETS: WTT, 15650 Addison Road. Through Oct. 24. $25–$40. WaterTowerTheatre.org.

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

—  Kevin Thomas