Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Special Mama’s Day Benefit at the Eagle Tavern

Curtis Michael Brown, Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt, Boy Tyler, and Mark Paladini

A huge crush of Levi/Leather people and their friends were pressed against each other for a special Mama’s Day beer bust at San Francisco’s Eagle Tavern on May 16. The day was named for leather icon Sandy "Mama" Reinhardt, who heads a family of over 900 fundraising volunteers who have helped non-profit organizations for more than a decade.

The event was coordinated by Reinhardt and San Francisco Leather Daddy XXVI Ray Middling, with Jay Hemphill and Michael Holeman of the Alameda County Leather Corps working the front counter. The East Bay guys collected $10 for spaghetti dinner and all of the beer or soda that the guests could put away.

One of the most spectacular sights at the Eagle used to be the shirtless and unbuttoned blonde German stud who sauntered through the crowd with two pitchers of beer, pouring with a smile. That was ended by a sour Alcohol Beverage Control bureaucrat a few years back, who demanded that beer be dispensed only by bartenders who could evaluate states of inebriation.

There were lots of provocative men and some women at the beer bust, and the excitement level shot up when raffle sellers knelt and closed in to measure inseams with the tickets that benefited Locks of Love, a charity that provides hairpieces for low-income children suffering from long-term medical hair loss. The organization helps gives self-confidence to youth under 21 who have a medical need.

Reinhardt also coordinates the annual Mama's Family Breast Cancer Emergency Fund Gala with co-producer Mark Paladini. This year’s benefit will be at San Francisco’s City Forest Lodge on August 27. Faith Fancher, a former KTVU reporter helped to found the event with Reinhardt and Paladini. The fundraiser features a silent auction, amazing entertainers, and surprise guests. It is one of those events where the incredibly sexy men on the covers of the erotic DVD’s in the auction can be seen slinking around like hungry panthers.

LeatherWalk, another event coordinated by Reinhardt and Paladini, is the annual fundraising kickoff to San Francisco Leather Month that features hundreds of leather, S&M, and kink enthusiasts walking from the Castro to the Eagle with banners and a huge leather flag behind a truck with singers.

The December holidays are the time of the year for Reinhardt and her annual Mama’s Family Toy Drive. It starts with Reinhardt requesting toys for needy children, then more and more gifts pour into the door of sponsoring bars, and then she bursts into tears because of the outpouring of generosity. There is an intensity to the fundraising that is rarely seen in San Francisco, and the huge horde of volunteers are an inspiration to non-profits and corporations that seek to make a difference in people’s lives.

All of these events are planned months in advance, which results in successful, well-attended parties.

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