Celebration of Love Gala raises funds for Lesbian Health Initiative

The scooter's way cuter in pink, sorry Liz

The Lesbian Health Initiative of Houston is celebrating Valentine’s Day a little early with their Celebration of Love Gala Saturday, Feb. 11. at the Double Tree Hotel downtown (400 Dallas Street). The 10th annual gala is the 20-year-old organization’s major fundraiser of the year.

This year the gala features comedienne Susanne Westenhoefer, who claims to be the “first openly-gay comedian to appear on television” (yep, she was out before Ellen).  Dorothy Weston, co-founder and CEO of The Rose (a breast cancer prevention and treatment organization) will be honored  for her years of service. In addition the evening includes dinner, dancing, a silent auction and the raffling of a pink Vitacci 50cc Retro Scooter. LHI executive director Liz James is particularly excited about the raffle even if she didn’t quite get her way on the prize. “I wanted it to be a black scooter, as I’m a bit on the butch side,” said James, adding that more “femme” forces in the organization prevailed and a pink scooter was selected instead.

Regardless of the color of the scooter, the Celebration of Love Gala promises to be a fun filled night, not just for sapphic romantics, but for anyone looking for a valentine’s date night that supports a good cause. Tickets for the black tie affair start at $100 and can be purchased at lhihouston.org. Doors open at 6 pm.

—  admin

Best bets • 01.06.12

Friday 01.06

Harnessing a bargain
With the economy being such a bitch, you gotta find a good deal anywhere. That goes for leather masters and mistresses as well. New and used items go on the block at the Leather Silent Auction benefiting local groups. And if you can snag a harness, some paddles or a pair of boots for cheaper than usual, jump on it fast.

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave.  7–11 p.m. DallasEagle.com.

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Tuesday 01.10

Pecha what?
Pecha Kucha Dallas starts 2012 with the appropriately titled theme: A Clean Slate. A panel of speakers cover topics on helping build a new you.

OK, it sounds self-helpy, but PK’s structure keeps it tight and speakers cover a lot of ground in short time. So it’s short, sweet and ultra-fascinating. But ask them how you pronounce it.

DEETS: Texas Theatre 231 W. Jefferson Blvd.  7 p.m. $5–$10. PKNDallas.org.

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Thursday 01.12

He’s a magic man
We’ve seen David Blaine be buried alive, frozen and more, but what’s behind the man of magic? Blaine talks about what inspires his death-defying feats and hopefully he’ll throw in some tricks, too.

DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 8 p.m. $20. ATTPAC.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 6, 2012.

—  Michael Stephens

Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS Casino Party tonight

Expect a full house

Lone Star Ride hosts their fourth annual casino night which is so much more than a poker felt on a table. Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em poker all come in to play tonight as players feel like they are in Vegas for the night. Hopefully you’re a good player because all those winnings can be spent on the silent auction which includes gift certificates, hotel packages and so much more.

It’s a blast of a night and all you have to throw down is cash for the ticket. The chips are given to you upon entering. How can you possibly beat that? Well, maybe by helping raise money for Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, that’s how.

DEETS: Audi Dallas, 5033 Lemmon Ave. 7:30 p.m $50 advance, 65 door. For tickets, click here.

—  Rich Lopez

Local Briefs

Toast to Life set for Feb. 26

Resource Center Dallas holds its 13th annual Pride Pharmacy Toast To Life gala fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 26, to benefit the center’s HIV/AIDS programs and services. Event tickets are $100 and VIP tickets including a private reception are $150.

The event, “Cirque De La Vie,” will be held at FIG-Fashion Industry Gallery, 1807 Ross Ave.

Pride Pharmacy Toast To Life features food from some of Dallas’ most prominent chefs and restaurants, along with wines and other beverages. There is also a silent auction and entertainment.

This year’s silent auction items include: a “chef’s dinner” for 10 at Truluck’s, including private dining and wine and valued at $5,000; a weeklong vacation in Provincetown, including a stay in a private rent house and air transportation on American Airlines; a “Gayribbean Cruise” for two; jewelry from Neiman Marcus; assorted travel packages and gift certificates, and one-of-a-kind art from well-known local artists.

Pride Pharmacy Toast To Life is presented by Pride Pharmacy and sponsored in part by Dr. Christopher A. Salerno and John F. Dixon, Eric V. Culbertson and David W. Carlson, AA.com/rainbow, FIG-Fashion Industry Gallery, Pinky’s Valet, Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, EMD Serono, Go-Lite Digital Advertising, Bravo! Entertainment, Total 360 Interiors, Artifex Art and Framing, Christopher J. Vesy, M.D. & Allan E. Roller, Chuck MarLett and Jim Vasilas, Steve S. Rayl & Scot Presley, Steven M. Pounders, M.D., and Jimmy O’Reilly, the United Court of the Lone Star Empire, BOLD Entertainment — Brandon Olds, and Dr. David Lee and Casey Wilcox. Tickets and sponsor information is available online at ToastToLife.org.

DFW Pug Rescue holding Pet Walk

DFW Pug Rescue Club holds its first annual Pet Walk and Adoption Event from 9 a.mm. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Villages of Bear Creek, 1509 Bear Creek Parkway in Euless.

The event will feature a pet walk, an unleashed dog park, pugs looking for adoption and more. Pre-registration for the Pug Love Fun Run is $20; registration is $25 the day of the event.

Registration fees include a t-shirt, and all proceeds will go directly to the DFWPRC.

Chamber seeks auction donations

The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce is looking for donations of items for its 6th anniversary gala dinner and silent auction.

Items donated for the auction must have a value of at least $250 and must be ready for pick up by March 15. Donated items must also be accompanied by all the necessary information.

Individual tickets prior through Feb. 28 are $55, and tables of 10 are $550. For more information, contact the chamber at 214-821-4528.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition Feb. 18, 2011.

—  John Wright

WaterTower in need of silent auction gifts

WaterTower Theatre’s gala fundraiser is coming up, and the gay-run organization is on the hunt for donated items that can be offered up for their silent auction. Maybe you’re a massage therapist who wants to give a free deep tissue, or a stylist who wants to donate a coif, or you just have more frequent flier miles than you know what to do with. It’s all good, and more. (Gift cards, spa certificates, restaurant vouchers, crystalwear … you know you have something.)

If you have anything or want to know how to help, contact Greg Patterson at GPatterson@WaterTowerTheatre.org, or call 972-450-6227.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Concert Notice: Prince to perform charity show during Super Bowl weekend

Wow. This show might trump all others. I just received this media advisory announcing Prince will be performing at theEvent on Feb. 4. The concert will benefit the Goss-Michael Foundation. What was known as Reunion Arena will be theEvent Tent Complex. Here’s what Black Book Ink says:

PRINCE TO PERFORM AT theEvent BENEFITING THE GOSS-MICHAEL FOUNDATION DURING THE BIGGEST WEEKEND IN FOOTBALL
WHEN: Friday, February 4, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: theEvent Tent Complex at the site formerly known as Reunion Arena, Reunion Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75207

WHAT: theEvent, is an all-inclusive evening of music and culture with an intimate performance with legendary songwriter, musician, producer, actor and performer – the one and only Prince, benefiting The Goss-Michael Foundation.

This all-inclusive soiree boasts music, art, food, spirits and more. Along with the rare performance by Prince, entertainment will include music from The Goss-Michael Foundation scholarship winners, guest DJ’s, a silent auction, as well as additional special guests to be announced.

theEvent will be held in Downtown Dallas at the site formerly known as Reunion Arena on Reunion Boulevard in an exclusive custom designed climate-controlled performance tent.

Arts and Culture supporters can experience theEvent with those who are as invested in the community as they are through ticket and table donations benefitting The Goss-Michael Foundation. “One of The Goss-Michael Foundation’s missions has been to encourage the talents of young artists, both visual and performing, through our statewide high school scholarship programs. With the funds raised at this one-of-a-kind event, students will be able to reach for their dreams. Prince is an artist that hundreds of millions of people around the world admire. Our scholarship winners and all of us are honored that Prince has selected The Goss-Michael-Foundation as the beneficiary” says Joyce Goss of The Goss-Michael Foundation

“Single Ticket $1500 Contribution” includes general admission, open bar and food stations.
“VIP Nest for Six $12,000 Contribution” includes VIP admission, reserved lounge style seating for six, dedicated server for drinks and food.
“Head Table for Ten $25,000 Contribution” includes VIP admission, plush stage side seating for 10 and dedicated server for food and bottle service.

Reservation Opportunities to be announced Stay Tuned to www.Twitter.com/theEventDallas

WHO: A music legend, Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label, writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of the instruments on his recordings. He has won seven Grammy™ Awards, a Golden Globe™ and an Academy Award™. In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In that same year Rolling Stone ranked Prince #28 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to Robert Larsen in his book, History of Rock and Roll, Prince is “one of the most talented and commercially successful pop musicians of the last 20 years”. On February 4th, 2007, he performed for the Super Bowl XLI Halftime show, Billboard.com called it the greatest Super Bowl performance ever.

That’s pretty major, but $1,500 a pop? Well, that ticket price probably trumps all the other shows too in addition to ruling out a whole lot of people to this supposedly all-inclusive event.

—  Rich Lopez

Razzle Dazzle a done deal for 2011

Pub crawls, a street festival, an AIDS fundraiser, party buses, more will be part of weeklong party

DAVID TAFFET  |  taffet@dallasvoice.com

Razzle-DazzleThe return of Razzle Dazzle Dallas means North Texas will have a June Pride celebration. The five-day event begins June 1.
Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, said the June 1-5 dates were chosen, in part, to not conflict with Pride weekends in Austin and Houston.

The event begins on a Wednesday with a special edition of the Cedar Springs Wine Walk.

Thursday, June 2, will feature a pub-crawl. Shuttles and party buses will leave from Cedar Springs Road to visit different bars off the strip. The Brick and BJ’s have already committed to participate. Other bars are expected to join as planning continues through the spring.

Each stop will be about 45 minutes and feature specials and a VIP area for those who purchase special tickets for the week.

“The purpose is to introduce people to the bars off the Cedar Springs strip,” Whittall said.

The fifth annual Metro Ball held at S4 will become part of Razzle Dazzle Dallas as the Friday event. The fundraiser is staged by and benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, which works with nine area agencies as a funding source of last resort to help individuals with emergency situations.

Tickets are expected to be $25 on line and $35 at the door. Crystal Waters headlined last year’s ball that raised $37,000. In 2011, the evening will include a silent auction and dance party.

Representatives of GDMAF, Inc., which stages Metro Ball, attended the first Razzle Dazzle organizational meeting to make sure there were no conflicts in dates.

“I expressed my concern to the committee,” said GDMAF President John Cooper-Lara. “But it made more sense to focus Metro Ball as the primary fundraiser for the weekend.”

By the end of the meeting, not only had Metro Ball become one of week’s signature events, but also Cooper-Lara signed on as co-chair of Razzle Dazzle Dallas.

“We’re excited to be part of a week-long celebration,” he said, hoping the community-wide effort will raise even more money for GDMAF this year.

When Metro Ball ends at 10 p.m., an after-party will be held at a different venue.

Saturday begins with a street festival — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — that will highlight the Cedar Springs merchants.

whittall.scott
Scott Whittall

Participating stores will have sale tents. Booths for artists and non-profits will be part of the day’s activities.

The main event will be Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cedar Springs will close from Reagan to Knight streets. Whittall said they were exploring closing even more of the street.

A main stage near Reagan Street will feature a national headliner and a variety of bands and entertainment. A stage near ilume will present a national DJ. A third stage in the middle of the block will also have a DJ keeping the party lively.

A sponsored VIP tent near Hunky’s will include a free cocktail of the evening and food provided by two area restaurants.

Sunday ends the five-day festival with a mini pub-crawl, afternoon t-dance and check presentations.

Whittall said the group plans to work with the Dallas Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and promote Razzle Dazzle nationally.

When Razzle Dazzle Dallas last took place in 2003, it was billed as the 26th annual event. That dates the first one to 1978.

Don Maison, who served on the board from about 1985-90, said he remembered it beginning as fundraiser for the Dallas Museum of Art. At the time, the museum was located in Fair Park and had just announced a new building downtown.

As AIDS took hold in Dallas in the early 1980s, Razzle Dazzle quickly changed its focus to raising funds for the first North Texas AIDS organizations, such as Oak Lawn Community Services that closed in 2000, and the AIDS Resource Center, now known as Resource Center Dallas.  One year in the 1980s Razzle Dazzle was held at the old Dallas auto pound on Inwood Road where a UT Southwestern building now stands. Searchlights directed people to the abandoned facility.

Maison recalled having to repair the roof of the shed and call Dallas Power & Light to run more electricity into the site.

Fair Park was a frequent site of the event. In different years it was held in the Hall of State, Tower Building and Centennial Building.

Maison said the year Razzle Dazzle was held downtown in the Convention Center was costly. Market Center Hall and an abandoned building in the West End and the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum were other venues before Razzle Dazzle moved to Cedar Springs Road in the 1990s.

In its last year, Razzle Dazzle featured the Village People who performed on an outdoor stage in Caven’s paid parking lot. Although the street was blocked off, many people entered without paying. The event lost money and Razzle Dazzle Dallas disbanded.

This year’s event should be well funded as it combines resources from a number of groups. Whittall said Ben E. Keith has already signed to be the presenting sponsor and other businesses including ilume and the Melrose Hotel have already agreed to be sponsors.

The new website will be live in January.

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

—  Kevin Thomas

Best bets • 12.10.10

Friday 12.10

Dog days in Big D
Gays and their dogs are a breed unto themselves and we imagine some will be competing in this weekend’s Lone Star State Classic dog show. For sure, we know local Laurie Foley will be there with her cocker spaniel to compete for top dog honors. Forget watching Best in Show again, see it for real.

DEETS: Dallas Market Hall, 2200 Stemmons Freeway. Through Dec. 12. LoneStarStateClassic.com

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Saturday 12.11

Some cracked nuts for Christmas?
Mark-Brian Sonna brings back his snarky wit with The Beulaville Baptist Book Club Presents: A Bur-less-Q Nutcracker!  When food poisoning wipes out an entire ballet company, it’s up to stranded burlesque troupe The Velvet Kittens to save Christmas in Beulaville. Nutcrackin’ funny stuff.

DEETS: Stone Cottage Theater, 15650 Addison Road. Through Dec. 26. $18–$22. MBSProductions.net.

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Sunday 12.12

Holidays the Wright way
Fort Worth pianist Danny Wright performs a benefit concert for Chelsea’s Fund which promotes pet hospice in Dallas and Fort Worth. Rebecca Miller hosts the evening that includes Wright’s concert, a silent auction and champagne reception.

DEETS: Casa Manana Theater, 3101 W. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth. 7 p.m. $50. CasaManana.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Fundraiser set to benefit sanctuary for abused horses, other animals

‘Honky Tonk for Horses’ will help pay for 35 animals now at Ranch Hand Rescue, another 22 horses now in rehab after being rescued

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer taffet@dallasvoice.com

A NEW HOME | Bob Williams of Ranch Hand Rescue welcomes Midnight to his new home at the sanctuary for abused horses and other animals. Midnight is missing one hoof, and Williams said he is working on getting the animal a prosthetic leg.

Bob Williams is passionate about rescuing abused and neglected farm animals — so passionate that he and his partner, Marty Polasko, opened a sanctuary for them.

Next Thursday, Dec. 16, Williams hopes to raise $10,000 for his organization, Ranch Hand Rescue, at Honky Tonk for Horses, a silent auction being held at The Mule Barn, a sports bar in Justin, just north of Fort Worth.

Ranch Hand Rescue provides sanctuary and medical care for abused farm animals from around North Texas. Founded in April 2009, the rescue has already saved 85 farm animals — mostly horses but also donkeys, mules, llamas, pigs, a turtle and rabbits.

“We work with law enforcement on animal abuse,” Williams said. “When the owner’s arrested, we’re called in.”

Currently, Ranch Hand Rescue has 35 animals adopted into their sanctuary and 22 horses in rehab. They’re involved in four current investigations.
Williams has no sympathy for anyone abusing animals.

“When we’re involved in these cases, we work to see the owner is prosecuted,” he said.

He said he is working with legislators to fix current state animal abuse laws. Beating an animal to death is a felony in Texas, but starving an animal to death is just a misdemeanor. Williams wants that fixed.

Williams said that Ranch Hand Rescue has four components.

“Our baby is the sanctuary,” he said.

That’s where they care for animals that have lived through abuse and neglect.

Rescue is the second piece of their mission. They have put together a network of foster families throughout Texas who help them nurse animals back to health. Starvation is the biggest problem.

“We have to jump-start their digestive systems,” Williams said.  That involves giving the animals medication, special feed in small amounts and eight meals a day.

And a lot of love, Williams said.

Third, Ranch Hand Rescue is involved in working with legislators to change animal cruelty laws. But Williams stresses his organization gets no financial help from the state or local governments.

Finally, Williams said, “Because we have a sanctuary, we have groups come in — kids with AIDS, autistic children, disabled kids.”

On Saturday, Dec. 11, a group from Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home, an orphanage and transitional home for abused children in Denton, will spend the day at the sanctuary. Williams said that they’ll tell the children the story of the animals and let them interact. Then Santa will arrive on a fire truck with presents.

The money raised at Honky Tonk for Horses will go directly toward care of the animals. Williams described the extent of injuries he’s currently dealing with.

“Most horses come in with worms,” he said. “One was beaten so badly her withers are broken. We want her in a home where she’ll be loved and cared for.”

A horse named Midnight came in without a hoof. Williams is making a prosthetic leg and hoping some of the veterinary cost of replacing it will be donated.

The sanctuary can accommodate about 55 sick animals that are penned, but when they become healthy and need more space, some have to be moved out.

They already have some land in McKinney and are hoping to finalize a deal on more property in Gainesville this week, Williams said.

American Pet Spa & Resort in Argyle has been Ranch Hand Rescue’s major sponsor. Polasko owns the boarding and grooming company where pets take pampered vacations while their owners are away.

Williams said a large number of customers drive out from Oak Lawn because of the extraordinary care Polasko gives their pets.

But the cost of caring for the farm animals begins with about $500 to transport an animal and several hundred dollars in veterinary bills for each animal before treatment begins. Feed and on-going care runs about $125 per animal per month.

Much of the funding has comes from the LGBT community, but as the organization expands, the need for additional funds grows.

Honky Tonk for Horses is expected to be the largest fundraiser for the organization so far. The silent auction features DVD players, race packages including hotel stays and tickets, autographed sports and Hollywood memorabilia, Rangers tickets, restaurant gift certificates and more.

Entertainment will be provided by a number of local bands.

Everybody Love Raymond actress Doris Roberts is a supporter of Ranch Hand Rescue and plans to come to Fort Worth in the spring for a fundraising event. Billy Bob’s Texas has offered to participate.

In addition, Williams said that they’ve recently hired a fundraising director and a grant writer.

Although Pet Smart doesn’t do horses as part of their retail business, through their foundation, they’ve provided volunteers and other assistance.

How successful has Ranch Hand Rescue been in saving animals from neglect and abuse? Has an animal’s suffering ever been so great that they decided to put it down?

“As long as they don’t suffer, we’ll do whatever it takes,” Williams said. “We never lost one yet.”

Honky Tonk for Horses, The Mule Barn, 218 Highway 156, Justin. Dec. 16 from 5 p.m. to closing. No cover charge.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Best bets • 12.03.10

Friday 12.03

Weekend forecast: lotsa leather
Mr. Dallas Eagle Jack Duke has a busy weekend ahead. First he’s hosting the Used Leather Silent Auction on Friday. Then he takes part in the Kickoff Party that same night, all gearing up for Saturday’s Mr. Dallas Eagle contest. Hard to believe it’s already been a year since Duke started his successful run at leather domination by going on to win Mr. Texas Leather and then placing third in Mr. IML. Now it’s time to pass on the torch — or is it paddle?

DEETS: Dallas Eagle, 5740 Maple Ave. Friday–Saturday at 8 p.m. DallasEagle.com

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Friday 12.03

Get folked up with SONiA
Lesbian folk singer SONiA and Disappear Fear head back to North Texas in support of their latest album Blood, Bones & Baltimore. Just don’t let the folk part scare you. She refreshes the granola vibe of ’60s folk by fusing it with a reggae touch. Plus, her dreadlocks are killer up close.

DEETS: Uncle Calvin’s Coffeehouse, 9555 N. Central Expressway. 8 p.m. $12–$15. UncleCalvins.com

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Saturday 12.04

Boogie woogie meets ballet – for real
Only the Contermporary Ballet of Dallas would we trust to mix ballet with disco, jazz and swing music. In Boogie Woogie Christmas Carol, the CBD offers a different take of the Dickens classic by throwing in some Tommy Dorsey, The Trammps and even Linkin Park. Ballet is starting to sound kinda cool, huh?

DEETS: McFarlin Auditorium, 6405 Boaz Lane. 7:30 p.m. $27. ContemporaryBalletDallas.com

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Tuesday 12.07

Good things can come from a trailer
The Sam Houston School Holiday Project will be offering thanks to a slew of drag queens this season. Edna Jean Robinson brings back her annual Trailer Park Christmas which benefits the project. Onyx and Chanel are among the drag fabulous who will lend a manicured hand to the night. Those kids will be so happy. It just warms the heart.

DEETS: JR.’s Bar & Grill, 3923 Cedar Springs Road. 11 p.m. Caven.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens