Invites encouraged “festive holiday attire.” Thousands of gays delivered on Sunday as they flocked to a downtown convention center for the 8th Annual Toy Party & Silent Auction that benefits underprivileged children across Georgia.
Attendees for the premier holiday cocktail party of the season came dressed in their best, some with Santa hats to mark the occasion while others donned ties, gowns and more than a few velvet blazers in all sorts of festive colors.
The fashion was enough to make even Jerell Scott blush. The Season 5 finalist from Bravo’s “Project Runway” was on hand at AmericasMart 3 for the big event — self-employed, single and making the rounds.
Speaking of queens, also on hand was Miss United States 2010 Jessica Black. She didn’t dare wear a tiara in that crowd, but she did offer a sash to alert passersby that a real queen was on hand.
Other guests of note included Mary Norwood, the former City Council member who can’t seem to let an election slip by without running for something. She does love her gays, though. Right back atcha, Mary. Then there was Alex Wan, the lone gay rep on City Council who founded this event in 2003.
Also on hand was gay restaurateur Mitchell Anderson – Ross from “Party of Five” to gays of a certain age – and drag queens aplenty, from the Flaming Sugarbakers to Bubba D. Licious and Eve Michaels from the Armorettes. For your eye candy pleasure – as if this party needed any more – there were the scantily-clad models (male and female) from presenting sponsor Smirnoff.
The event raises cash and toys for 20 organizations with the LGBT ones including AID Atlanta, CHRIS Kids, Jerusalem House and YouthPride. A final tally wasn’t available on Monday, but last year’s event saw a crowd of more than 4,200 people that donated 5,000 toys and gift cards and raised an additional $20,000 in silent auction proceeds. Since its inception, For the Kid in All of Us – the organizer of Toy Party and Backpack in the Park – has distributed more than 27,000 toys and gift cards and raised in excess of $450,000 in monetary donations.