One of the largest LGBT party crowds to assemble all year is already deciding what to wear to Sunday evening’s Toy Party & Silent Auction, the annual holiday bash that draws throngs to mix, mingle, and collect toys and cash for charity.
Some 4,200 gays packed the 2009 event (photos, view more) at AmericasMart3, the cavernous space where the party shifted to accommodate so many giving gays full of holiday spirit.
For the Kid in All of Us, the all-volunteer group that stages Toy Party, breaks its own records each year for donations to nearly two-dozen beneficiaries. Last year’s mountain of loot for Georgia’s underprivileged kids totaled more than 5,000 toys and gift cards and $20,000 in silent auction proceeds.
Toy Party started in 2003 as a house party with a group of gay friends headed by now-Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan. Since then, For the Kid became not only the Toy Party organizers, but also the purveyors of school supplies at the summer hit Backpack in the Park.
“It’s about bringing together different communities within this great state all with a common goal which is to help underserved children in Georgia,” says Jorge Esteban, board chair with For The Kid. “Our two annual events are a testimony as to what can happen when people with a common goal get together.”
So if you don’t already know, your entry fee is an unwrapped toy or gift card valued at $20 or more. Then all you have left to do is enjoy umpteen open bars, pumping beats by DJ Vicki Powell and most of all, big gay camaraderie.
The silent auction, valued at more than $75,000 worth of goods and services, includes an all-inclusive week’s vacation at an exclusive vacation house in Costa Rica, Delta skymiles, artwork, dining and entertainment packages. That’s just for starters.
And dress to impress, y’all. Organizers officially call it “festive holiday attire,” but having been there, take note: We’re not talking tuxes and gowns; we’re talking cocktail wear that when you look in the mirror makes you say, “I look so fabulous, I’d do me in a heartbeat if I didn’t know me better.”
For those who just can’t get enough—and who can?—the crowd moves to Opera for Playground: Toy Party Afterparty to Fa-la-la into the night with DJ David Knapp after the main event.