A Bash Like No Other
Celebrating Halloween this year promises to be a fraught endeavor as the country continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus pandemic. However, the Affirmations LGBTQ community center has a fix for that: Leave a bucket of candy on the porch and settle in for their virtual MASKerade Bash on Oct. 31 from 7 to 9 p.m.
With live entertainment from musician Jill Jack, and the chance to win more than 100 bottles of wine, organizers hope they’ve cooked up a memorable evening. The live event is professionally produced by N-Media and Congress Studios and can be viewed live via Zoom, Facebook Live, Vimeo or YouTube Live. It is free to the public.
“Our special events have always been one of our major sources of income and we’ve lost them all, since COVID,” Executive Director Dave Garcia explained. “We had to cancel the Spring Bash and then make it the Fall Bash — and then we had to cancel that.”
Live from Affirmations Pittmann-Puckett Gallery, Garcia will host the event along with Board of Directors President Cheryl Czach and Vice President Anthony Sherman. The program will also feature an update on the center and presentation of Affirmations’ 2020 award winners.
Garcia said that out of necessity, they had to plan a virtual event. They’ve retained the services of the production company that helped Affirmations with their successful telethon this summer. He described the two-hour event — a variety of live and recorded segments — as professional, fun and fast-paced.
For readers unfamiliar with Jack’s music, her bio describes her as a “Detroit based singer-songwriter [who] captures audiences with her soulful voice and dynamic storytelling. Over her 20-year career in the industry, she has continually adapted and flowed through music, showcasing self-written songs in rock, folk, Americana, and jazz.”
Jack will play two sets.
“There will be video segments from a bunch of community members to do the keynote instead of having someone come in and do a keynote at a black-tie event,” Garcia said.
He added there will be numerous leaders of the community who participate in the pre-recorded address.
About Those 100 Bottles of Wine
Last year, and in some years past, Affirmations held a wine party in which the admission “fee” was two bottles of wine: one to share and one for a raffle. Even though an in-person event isn’t possible this year, rest assured the wine will still flow.
Garcia described how the Halloween-themed wine raffle will work.
“If you, the community, send in your best Halloween picture of all time, then you automatically get entered into the wine raffle. But other people can just buy a ticket for $10,” he said. “The wine came from the last fundraiser and many donors have given to what they thought was gonna be the next wine fundraiser but we called them and said look, we can’t do that.”
Multiple raffle tickets may be purchased but only one complimentary ticket per person who sends in a photo. All contributions up to $10,000 will be matched through a community challenge gift made by members of the Affirmations Board of Directors.
At the end of the evening, one name will be drawn and the lucky winner will be the recipient of the 100 bottles. Photos of attendees’ favorite Halloween costumes may be uploaded from the online invitation.
Garcia made a distinction between the upcoming Affirmations fundraiser and other fundraising events he’s seen lately.
“It will be broadcast live out of Affirmations and unlike other fundraisers similar to ours, we’re not selling tickets,” Garcia said. “[Attendees] don’t have to buy anything. They just have to tune in. If they tune in, we think they might donate.”
When asked about his own Halloween costume, Garcia wasn’t talking. He added that’s not the only surprise viewers can expect from the show.
Affirmations’ Big MASKerade Bash is on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 7 to 9 p.m. Learn more online at goaffirmations.org.