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‘Holiday with Heart’ brings in $10K for two Toledo causes
Toledo--The 34th Annual Holiday with Heart Charity Gayla sold out the main dining room at the Toledo Club for the second year in a row on December 3. Partygoers were even seated out in the entry hallway leading into the dining room.
Just over 300 people came to the event, which raised over $10,000 for this year’s two benefiting charities, the Pride of Toledo Foundation and AIDS research by Dr. Joan Duggan at the University of Toledo Medical College.
The Pride of Toledo Foundation puts on the Toledo Pride Parade and Festival in August.
The evening was dedicated to founding committee member Dick Flock, who died in September at the age of 78. His partner of 35 years, Ed Hoffman, spoke in his memory.
The annual Founder’s Award was presented to the Flower Market for ten years of donations to this charity;d the award was accepted by store manager Doug Lamielle. The Flower Market has donated over $8,000 in floral arrangements over the past decade.
Last year’s recipient, Terry Hymore, owner of Ripcord and Blush bars, donated all the desserts for the third year in a row, to the delight and gratitude of the organizing committee.
Entertainment was provided by the legendary Twila Starr and the lovely MaKayla Sinclaire Styles as DJ Dan Cheney pumped out the music. There was also a sexy fashion show presented by Steve Brown, owner of City Boyz Menswear, with two hot models. Additional funds were raised with a 50/50 raffle. The raffle winner donated the purse back to Holiday with Heart.
Committee members Rick Cornett, Andrew Larsen, Wayne North, David Bingham, Ed Hoffman and new member Kenyetta White gave special thanks to volunteer coordinator Billy Mann and his team, Mitchell Perez, Emily Hickey, Ashley Ward, Maggie Vetter, Kelly Staufer, Don Srozynski and Michelle Fortress.
The Toledo Free Press was the official media sponsor for the second year, and editor-in-chief Michael Miller and his wife Shannon attended again. Other media sponsors include Pride's Eye, Outlines Toledo and Tagala newsletter.
The evening was a glittering night of pride for the local LGBT community to come together to celebrate the holidays in grand style and benefit others.
“We are proud to say we are still standing after thirty four years and this has become the premier social event for the Toledo gay community,” said one board member. “It is sad, but all our other social events and benefits are gone: SRO, Decked Out, Lend a Loving Hand, Sex, Drag and Rock & Roll, the Toledo Unity Picnic,” said Hoffman. “This is why we wanted to benefit the Pride of Toledo Foundation so they can continue their work presenting our gay pride festival and parade yearly.”
“We are already gathering ideas for our big 35th anniversary next year and want to thank everyone who came out and supported us in record numbers,” he concluded.
For more details, see www.HWHCharityGayla.org or find them on Facebook.