What a Swell Party it Was

Good thing I don’t drink any more, or I’d just be sobering up from the from the NCLR 30th Anniversary GayLa Weekend. It was, as Lily Tomlin used to say, jam-packed and fun-filled.
You’ve got to give it to those San Fransisters at NCLR. They pulled out all the stops. The Friday night dinner for the major donors was held at the Merchants Exchange Building. After a cocktail party in the cavernous reception area, we all took the world’s oldest elevators up to a beautiful, wood paneled room that was decked out for 350 for dinner. As K. J. Denhert entertained with her jazzy riffs, everyone mingled and yacked. It was the family dinner you have always dreamed of.
The wonderful board of NCLR was all there and did a delightful roast, okay light poach, of the executive director, Kate Kendell who has led the organization with a fine fierce fun for ten years. She is a great story teller and told about a panel she was on with Gloria Steinem and Harry Belafonte. Kate does an excellent imitation of Mr. Belafonte and ably conveyed his rousing commitment to GLBT human rights. At dinner we also got a sneak preview of the wonderful new informative NCLR video. I encouraged everyone to get home early to get rested for the next night’s party.
Late Saturday morning, I went to Golden Gateway Tennis and Swim Club. Not to work out, but to attend the tennis clinic that this year’s Voice and Visibility Honoree, Martina Navratilova generously conducted for ten lucky auction winners. Martina worked on the basics and then played doubles with the players, all the while giving running commentary and corrections on her pesky headset. I did my best imitation of a young Wimbledon ball girl. I’m sure the BenGay will kick in any minute. We all had lunch together after and then it was off to some industrial fluffing and primping for the party.
Because 3,500 were expected, the event had outgrown the usual location of the Moscone Center, so the Gala was held at The Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason. The irony of all those lesbians asking, telling and kvelling at an old army base was not lost on many. The huge arching Pavilion had been transformed into a bacchanalian bash with food areas, seating areas, raised stages for break dancers and feather dancers, women cirque du soleiling, suspended over the crowd. Don’t try that at home. Or do. It was a throbbing moveable feast of music, dancing and feasting – an apt celebration of thirty years of NCLR.
The honor of emceeing was mine again, though it was more ringleading at a three ring circus. The program honored out NBA player John Ameiche and Martina Navratilova. I ran the live auction and we raised some more cash for the cause! It did get a bit out of hand. And I would like to apologize to the Victoria’s Secret people who never intended that my new hi-tech underwire be used to stuff twenties from the crowd, but a fundraising gal has to do what a gal has to do. Martina and Kate tucked the green too. After the short program, the DJ cranked up her turntable and the huge checkered dance floor was jammed until the wee hours. Later that night, I found an errant twenty dollar bill stuck to my stomach. I promise to send it to the NCLR development gals. I am claiming it. It was the most tax deductible fun I’ve ever had.