CARBONDALE — The Rainbow Café LGBTQ Center is celebrating 20 years with a virtual gala and online auction this weekend.
Usually, the gala is the center’s biggest annual fundraiser. This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s being held virtually.
The Rainbow Café said that the online auction began on Oct. 20 and will conclude at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. People can bid on items from anywhere and the center will cover the cost of shipping. Further arrangements for pick up or delivery of items to those in the area will be made at the auction’s conclusion.
The Virtual Gala video premiers at 7 p.m. Watch on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKyR6uJy_EeszeBMR3D7FCQ.
For those in the Carbondale area, the center has partnered with Scratch Brewing Company and Cristaudo’s to recreate the gala experience at home. You can order a Gala Dinner from Cristaudo’s and a growler or bottle from Scratch Brewing Company, and pick up both at Cristaudo’s on Saturday to enjoy while watching the Virtual Gala and bidding in the online auction. You can order a dinner through this form.
Local drag artist Faim Lee Jewls is the emcee and entertainment includes performances by Curt Wilson, Elana Floyd Kennett, Loose Gravel, Jenny Pape, The Fine and Bawdy Wenches, and The Jewels. There will also be encore drag performances from Blanche DuBois and Faim Lee Jewls and premiere performances from Rain St. Foxx, Kailey Kreme Santana, and Holly Haliwell.
Key note speeches are planned from Mike Ziri, policy director of Equality Illinois, and Tim Rice, Rainbow Café board member emeritus.
The event will also be amplified on Facebook and other Rainbow Cafe social media.
You can see the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/692142931653236.