That the Toy Party was a resounding success on Sunday is not a surprise. In its sixth year, the annual toy drive delivers thousands of presents to its beneficiaries each time thousands of gay men and lesbians (and others) attend.
But the event also received a mention in Peach Buzz, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s entertainment, buzz and gossip column.
While he’s been on the board since the benefit’s inception, this was organizer Frank Bragg’s first year helming the event as board president.
As favorable reports filtered into his earpiece, Bragg looked relieved as 400 volunteers stacked small mountains of unwrapped presents on the stage below him. The event drew hundreds of attendees into the massive space.
“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” Bragg told Buzz. “Due to the economy, we’ve had some sponsors pull out or scale back. It’s remarkable that we have any sponsorships at all, given the times right now. Everyone’s been amazingly generous.”
In addition to Bragg, who is gay, Peach Buzz also caught up with Philip Rafshoon, the gay owner of Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse.
Thanks to donations from Smirnoff vodka, the Georgia Beverage Association and a small army of bartenders, last year’s long lines for cocktails were ancient history.
Still, Outwrite Books owner Philip Rafshoon, a Toy Party event partner, came prepared this year. At the check-out of his Midtown business, small silver flasks were being sold to prospective Toy Party attendees.
Sure enough, Rafshoon himself had one filled with vodka.
Joked Rafshoon: “I wasn’t taking any chances!”