Photography by Doug Gifford
The Friends of Dorothy Guild ended its seven-year fundraising program on behalf of AIDS Services Foundation Orange County with a spectacular Haunted Halloween Costume Party that raised $42,000 and brought their 2012 fundraising efforts to more than $100,000. Since 2007, the Dorothy’s have raised nearly $700,000 to fight HIV/AIDS in Orange County.
Guests enjoyed dinner, auctions, dancing and Shoe Awards on Saturday evening, October 20 at the newly redecorated Center Club in Costa Mesa. Barbara Venezia, founder of The Friends of Dorothy Guild and chair of the Halloween event said, “This has been a wonderful partnership with ASF, and the Dorothy’s are so proud to have been able to make such a significant contribution in both funds and awareness-building to the wonderful programs ASF offers for those living with HIV/AIDS.”
One of the many highlights was Mark Eskander presenting a check for $20,000 on behalf of the Louise Mandel Charitable Trust. Eskander has donated more than a quarter of a million dollars to the Dorothys’ efforts.
Shelly Virkstis, chairman of the ASF Board commented, “On behalf of the board of directors and, even more so, on behalf of our clients living with HIV and AIDS here in Orange County, I want to again thank Barbara Venezia and the Dorothys for all they have done during the past five and half years. The more than $700,000 they have raised has allowed so many clients living with this disease to continue to receive the services they need. I also thank all the donors who have supported The Friends of Dorothy and invite them to continue their support of the services we offer by attending events, continuing their monthly donations and making an important difference in our community. I encourage everyone to visit ASF and see all the wonderful services your donations have supported and continue to support.”
This year’s Haunted Halloween fundraiser was a fantasy world inhabited by sheiks, witches, Santa Claus, Scarlett O’Hara, wizards, ghouls, Rambo-wannabes, adventure heroes and heroines and more. Beset Costume went to Glenn Moyers as a hospital patient with a bourbon & water intravenous unit; Scariest was Kevin Young, a bloodied walking dead; Ericka and Damon Brannon of MAC Cosmetics were Best Couple as a Dead of the Dead couple; tied for Best Group were three oil sheiks Jeff Willkie, David Przeracki and Fred Kunz and the flight crew of a dubiously Virgin Airlines – J.M. Marconi, Adam Neeley, William May, Connie Chung and Justin Myers.
Venezia presented the Dorothys’ special Red, Pink and Platinum Shoe Awards to those who have helped make the Guilds’ events such overwhelming successes. Contributing to the Haunted Halloween party were the Center Club, Billy’s Naked Chicken, Diva Cakes, Carolyn Stoaks Personal Catering, Elle Shoes and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly. Other honorees were past fashion show sponsors Freedom Reigns, designer Clay G. Adler, Jorge Rodriguez, Linda and Tom Salinger, Tommy Burgers, Sun-Dried Tomato, MAC Cosmetics, Premiere Healthcare, Dennis Silva of Quattro Caffe, Doug Gifford Photography, Susie and Kevin Coleman, The Crean Family Foundation, Tom Neas of Thomas Printers, D.J.s Steve Oaks and Golden Mike, John Fabris of the Orange County Register, Richard Moriarty and Loren Blackwood of Newport Vineyards and Winery.
“It’s been a wonderful run, and it’s all due to the incredible steering committee,” Venezia said in closing. She named James Rust – Vice Chair, Tim Dunn – PR Chair, Pat Kennedy – Decorating Chair, Justin Myers – Beverage Chair, Mark Eskander – Underwriting Chair, Patti Gordon – Food chair, Karen and Doug Gifford, Ron Lenox – Social Media plus committee members Adam Neeley, Andrea Waite, Annemarie Miller-Jones, Bunny Clark, Chris Bragg, Christine Petersen, Dee W. Ieye, David J. Przeracki, Ervin Page, Geoffrey Laing, Kevin Young, Mary Pham, Monica Mazur, Nick St. Royal, Pascal Defontis, Rita Phillips, Susie Coleman, Stan Tkaczyk, Tm Stoaks, Vincent Bennett and Vince Workman.
One hundred percent of ticket sales and money raised by The Friends of Dorothy Guild goes to ASF, which has, for nearly 25 years, provided services throughout our community to those affected by HIV and AIDS. ASF’s mission is to prevent the spread of HIV with education and to improve the lives of men, women and children. ASF’s mission is to prevent the spread of HIV with education and to improve the lives of men, women and children.