Event Preview: Fun for a Cause 2013
Come one, come all, for one of the biggest LGBT shows in Richmond – it’s the 5th annual Fun for a Cause and its sure to be a great chance to catch up with old friends, support some important groups in town, and have a drink or two… or five.
It’s an “Over-the-top night of celebrating for the community, and what it means to be part of that community,” said the event’s chair and MC John Jessie AKA Natasha Carrington. In its 5th year, the Fun for a Cause will bring 45 entertainers from around the city. Proceeds from the event go to ROSMY, the GCCR, and the Fan Free Clinic.
Jessie said its the good causes that make it easy to book the show. Once whispers of the event go public, artists and singers come out of the woodwork to participate. “Many entertainers reach out to me to be a part of the event. It’s never been hard for entertainers in this town to come together and support organizations that have supported us for many years.”
Coordinating the event is no easy task – Jessie said it’s the details that can derail the entire gig. One year a color scheme seemed great on paper, but once the room was decked out, it was a mess of clashing hues. But these problems are all part of the presentation. “It’s never the same thing. I’m sure between now and next tuesday something new will happen.”
Jessie has been part of the event since its inception. He spent the first 2 years as an entertainer, but by year 3, he stood up to take a leadership role as the events chair and he’s been fulfilling the duty ever since. His favorite part of how the show has evolved is how much LGBT Richmonders have adopted to the event. “The community has really accepted this event and taken it on as its own. It started as a group of friends that just wanted to give back, and from there it’s blossomed.”
Photo of Carrington Via Facebook.
While funds are going to groups like the GCCR, some of the groups are participating as well. Bill Harrison, CEO of the GCCR, will be bringing back his old drag alter ego, Big Kitty. Harrison said, as Big Kitty, he’ll be garbed in clothes from Diversity Thrift’s racks – gown, shoes, and undergarments. He’ll be performing “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy.
Harrison, who hasn’t done drag since the 80′s when he was helping raise funds for AIDs related issues, said Fun for a Cause is great because it’s a great way to say thank you to the other performers who dedicate so much of their time to raise funds for groups like the GCCR. “It’s also a lot of fun. Where else can I walk around in a woman’s bathing suit?”
Raising money is hard for any nonprofit, so groups like the GCCR always appreciate the help. But, Harrison said, beyond the financial contribution, events like Fun for a Cause also build Community. “People come together for a common cause… Many of us remember during the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was often the drag community that not only raised incredible amounts of money, they made us laugh and we needed that.”
“Times and culture have shifted and the organization has expanded over the course of 25 years toward building communities with LGBTQ+ youth, families, schools, and faith communities.”September 12, 2016
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