Thursday, June 02, 2011

Racing to Benefit the Castro Country Club: Running in Heels for a Good Cause

Four hysterically screaming drag queens ran down Castro Street on May 30, Memorial Day, to the delight of locals, tourists, and a neighborhood street cleaning crew. It was a race from Jane Warner Plaza to the beneficiary, the Castro Country Club, which is a living sober space that has saved lives for more than 28 years. More than $2,500.00 was raised by contestant registrations, sale of raffle tickets, online donors, and barbecue contributions for the Keep the Steps in the Castro campaign to raise funds to make a downpayment on the building. There has been accelerating anxiety among members and supporters caused by the Club building being listed for sale in an economic downturn. The steps in the campaign title refer to the steps in front of the Club, which are known for an array of attractive shirtless men on sunny days.

Race contestants Hi Colonic Anderson, Landa Lakes, Randy Randi, and Olivia Heart are unique characters and each brought a special exuberance to the event. Anderson was the race winner and raised the most money and sported a large white wig, expressive makeup, cobalt blue short shorts, and a red shirt to complete an all-American look. Lakes is the organizer of the Brush Arbor Gurlz,
a Native American Two Spirits drag group, and an admired former Grand Duchess who came in second in the race in a rhinestone-studded black stretch dress inspired by Madonna. Randi wore a hot pink shirt, sparkle shorts, and a feather boa topped with a plumed hat. Heart, the race coordinator who came in last because of a broken heel, wore a red and white dress adorned by a Queen of Hearts sash, and heart-topped tiara.

In past races two large men ran alongside the runners, but this year the contestants simply signed a liability statement. One runner playfully mentioned that they should ask San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener if they should sign the statements, since he was nearby and he is an attorney. Lakes was clever enough to wear elbow and knee pads, and he had a cheering section led by his lover Hung Phan, who does drag as Miso Hornay, and Phan’s adorable young niece Emelie.

Charming barista Matt served Peet’s coffee, which is considered the best brew offered in the Castro, while a hot dog barbecue filled the distinctive garden. Notable guests included striking King of
Hearts Patrick Bondreaux, who found himself being enticed to share Hi Colonic Anderson’s hotdog after he had cast off his drag to become Jason. Grand Duke Jason Husted was there with his consort Christopher Humphries who is Mr. August on the 2012 Bare Chest Calendar that benefits the AIDS Emergency Fund and the Positive Resource Center. Comic Nick Leonard stopped by with his lover Sandra O, and photographers Mike Shriver and Michael Kerner captured images for club members.

Race winner Anderson and best drag winner Randi received generous gift bags with books and gift cards for Foot Worship, Payless Shoes, Orphan Andy’s and AMC Theaters.

For information about the Club:

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