More than a dozen community members have stepped up to the stage, ready to dress in drag and perform a dance routine — all in support of Palmetto Community Care. The “Divine Divas” will be part of the entertainment at Gay Bingo on August 15th, a marquee summertime fundraising event for Palmetto Community Care.
The 18 Divine Divas have been learning a dance routine choreographed by Tim Brown, member of a new contemporary modern dance ensemble in Charleston, The Movement Union. They also are fundraising for Palmetto Community Care in advance of Gay Bingo.
Tripp Accardo, who plays rugby with the Charleston Blockade
Brandon Aiton, who works at Hawkes Learning
Michael Biondi, one of the owners of Frothy Beard Brewing Company
Christopher Briggs, who works at Walmart and his drag persona is Kathleen Francis
James Cherry, who works for Joint Base Charleston in the 628 Medical Group
Michael Conwell, CEO Palm Island Inc.
Chris Deer, owner of Tideline Aquatics
Amy George, who is involved with Charleston Rugby, The Citadel, Air Force Reserves and CCEMS
Topher Larkin, who works at the Ryan White Wellness Center
Emily Greenway, medical case manager at Palmetto Community Care
Jonatan Guerrero Ramírez, who works for We are Family and is the editor at BEAU magazine
Tim Newborn, who works at Blackbaud and performs as Oshi Goode
Michael Pound, who has volunteered with Charleston Pride, the Community Pride Board of Charleston Inc., Keep North Charleston Beautiful and more
Meg Smith, who teaches at the College of Charleston
Nick Stayrook, craft brand manager at Lee Distributors
Ross Todd, local entertainer
Kyle Wallace, who works in the craft beer community and runs the website charlestonbrewerylist.com
Christopher Zuver, who works at Boeing
“These Divine Divas come to us from every walk of life and represent the best that our community has to offer,” Jason Kirk, Palmetto Community Care’s director of development and marketing, said. “These individuals are giving up their time, talent and energy to support the important programs and services provided by Palmetto Community Care. They are such great assets to help us communicate to our entire community that the HIV epidemic is still ongoing, and we all need to do our part to help those in need and prevent new cases through testing and prevention efforts. They are helping us elevate Gay Bingo to a whole new level of fun and impact.”
This year’s theme Gay Bingo theme is the Mad Hatter’s Ball, and costumes are encouraged. Patti O’Furniture is back as the event hostess, ready to call out bingo numbers and keep the audience entertained. She’ll be joined by three Bingo Verifying Divas — Kylee Lovlee, Sharies Ses Pieces and Carmella Monet Monroe — who will perform with Patti and verify all the bingo games and winners.
Bingo winners will be treated to fabulous prize packages valued in the hundreds of dollars each, including spa treatments, gift baskets, event tickets, restaurant gift certificates and a vacation package.
Gay Bingo – where a winner is never a straight line and everyone has a ball – benefits Palmetto Community Care in its work helping those living with HIV in the Charleston region while providing free HIV testing, education and prevention resources. This event serves not only a fun evening, but as an important reminder that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is still affecting many in our community, LGBT and straight alike.
General admission tickets are $50 and include bingo games and entertainment. Food will be available for purchase, plus there will be beer from Frothy Beard Brewing Company and a full cash bar by Smirnoff Love Wins Vodka. VIP tickets include a pre-event VIP reception at 5 pm with complimentary champagne plus premium seating and a free drink ticket plus bingo games and entertainment. VIP tickets are $75 each.
Reserved tables are available ranging from $600 to $1,800. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit www.charlestongaybingo.org.
About Palmetto Community Care | Complete compassionate HIV care + prevention
Palmetto Community Care has been helping those living with HIV for more than 25 years. It all started with a belief that no one living with HIV or AIDS should go without medical care, everyday resources or emotional support. We believe our continued commitment to our work here in the Lowcountry will help bring an end to the HIV epidemic through increased HIV testing, prevention and education. Free, confidential HIV/STI testing: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. No appointment needed. For more information, visit palmettocommunitycare.org.
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