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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
November 2, 2007

Masked bacchanal brings in thousands for ARC Ohio

Dayton--Masquerage: A Glam Rock Odyssey took over the Merc in downtown Dayton, a half-refurbished historic factory, bringing in hundreds of masked revelers for a bacchanal to support the work of AIDS Resource Center Ohio.

While masks were required at the October 20 party, many partygoers surpassed expectations and showed up in complete costumes reflecting the ’60s and ’70s.

The party was attended by 720 people, who gathered to see performances by Porsche, DJ Patrick B, the Soul Fire Tribe and Victoria Theater’s No Intermission vocal group.

The highlight of the entertainment, as always, was Dayton’s own Rubi Girls, perhaps the most storied drag troupe in Ohio, if not the Midwest.

Combining the glitz and glamour of Studio 54, Mardi Gras and the Cirque du Soleil, the event raised around $125,000 to support ARC Ohio’s prevention, testing and client services.

“More than any other event, Masquerage brings together people from all walks of life for a spectacular evening of celebrating life and generating greater awareness about our work,” said ARC Ohio executive director Bill Hardy. “Many of those attending are young people and members of the LGBTQ community who are among the most impacted by HIV.”

According to Hardy, this year’s installment marked a new fundraising high, which is more needed than ever as their client services now reach almost 2,000 people.

Hardy succeeded in spreading the Masquerage event to Toledo, where ARC Ohio now runs David’s House Compassion. David’s House has an annual fundraiser, Supporters Reaching Out, which in September evolved into SRO Masquerage and saw its highest attendance in at least four years.

While the Toledo party was organized by Chris Clymer and David Wishart in their second year as co-chairs together, board member Monica Bartley returned for her second year as the chair of the Dayton event.

“I do this because I love the cause and the people,” she said, noting that education is important because “our greatest hope and challenge is that HIV transmission is preventable.”

ARC Ohio provides services in 35 counties throughout northern and western Ohio from offices in Dayton, Lima, Mansfield and Toledo.

 

 

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