This year I am blown away to say that Kings For A Cause III saw 13 events in 11 different cities nationwide. Events were held in Dallas, Odessa, Knoxville, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, Long Beach, Lincoln, Denver, Muncie and Tulsa. All together...over $7,275 was raised for local charities (still waiting on final total), and this year's National Charity, Camp Kindle.
I am humbled. I am honored. I am awed. I never dreamed that the small spark of an idea three years ago could grow into something so amazing.
Sometimes it is easy to get frustrated in this line of work. There is gossip, and drama, and far too much negativity. Sometimes it is difficult to remember why we work so hard against so much resistance, even within our own community, and for little to no recognition. I had doubts about continuining Kings For A Cause as a result of a lot of naysaying, a lot of pain and hurt and sorrow caused by people either for their own benefit, or reasons still unknown. There were many times I thought, "Why am I even doing this?"
I now have hundreds of answers to that question.
Because this is *the* single most important thing in the world that anyone can do. I have never felt so fulfilled, so proud and so peaceful to see the King community come together for amazing charities. I have never felt so grateful just to have a King I haven't even met in person contact me to say "Thank you for letting me be part of Kings For A Cause III." In fact, many Kings have contacted me to say that and the truth of the matter is, no, thank YOU. Without all of you this wouldn't be possible. Without your hard work, passion, and huge, giving hearts Kings For A Cause would be unable to exist. I am honored that so many people elected to be a part of this national drag event - and it has completely renewed my faith in this business, and in this community. There are genuinely *good* people out there - and you are all genuinely good. YOU should be proud of all that was accomplished this weekend.
My heart swells with pride for all of you.
This year I was lucky enough to be able to attend 3 KFAC events - the one here in Phoenix where I live, and the two nights of KFAC in Lincoln, Nebraska. The passion of the entertainers, the geneorsity of the crowd, and the smiles on the faces of our recipient charities were extraordinary. To see the same, equal amount of hard work and passion for the same event from two different cities in two different states was mind blowing. It was a blessing, and for KFAC IV I hope to be able to travel again and meet even more of the wonderful people who take part in these events.
This year's National Charity, Camp Kindle, is based out of Nebraska. It is a camp for children infected or affected with HIV/AIDS. I was honored to have to opportunity to meet kids who have attended Camp Kindle while I was in Lincoln, and hearing their stories about camp first hand and discovering how much the experience meant to them is something I will never forget. Thank you all for sharing that piece of you with me. Camp Kindle is made up of angels, I'm convinced, and I hope KFAC III raised awareness of it's existence and it's purpose and that people will continue to give.
Thank you to all of the entertainers I had the pleasure of working with in both Phoenix and Lincoln. Some of you are my friends, some of you I just met, but I am proud to call you all my brothers. Except for the femmes...I am proud to call you my sisters. KFAC is a family that stretches from the east coast to the west, and I hope everyone stays in contact with me and with each other over the year.
I would personally like to thank the organizers for each KFAC event - without you, such a large positive impact on our communities would not have been made:
- Ally Greer of Dallas, Texas (raised $416 thus far - total TBA after more checks received!)
- Maxx Love of Denver, Colorado (raised $316 for Camp Kindle, $300 for GLSEN Colorado!)
- Samanta Sutton of of Knoxville, Tennessee (raised $505 for Camp Kindle, $450 for Hope Center!)
- Troy Fiengold-Haasis and the Diamond Foundation of Lincoln, Nebraska (raised $1,947 for Camp Kindle!)
- Haywood Jablowme of Long Beach, California (raised $160 for Camp Kindle, $160 for C.A.R.E. Program!)
- Ryder Cox of Muncie, Indiana (raised $625 for Camp Kindle, $425 for Foster Hope!)
- Amber Bryant of Nashville, Tennessee (raised $284 for Camp Kindle, $193 for Just Us Program!)
- Billy Blaze of Odessa, Texas (raised $187 Camp Kindle, $62 for West Odessa Fire Department!)
- Phoenix, Arizona (raised $415 for Camp Kindle, $300 for the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation!)
- Nikki Jauron of Portland, Oregon (raised $160 for Camp Kindle, $60 for the Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center!)
- Kaden Alexander Beers of Tulsa, Oklahoma (raised $180 for Camp Kindle, $180 for Joplin Missouri Relief Fund!)
Troy and Jason Fiengold-Haasis - you are both amazing people. Thank you for your support and for believing in Kings For A Cause, even in the face of adversity. Without you, Troy, this year's KFAC would probably not have happened. A lot of people owe you a tremendous thanks, myself included. Thank you for your positivity, your constant support (and I mean CONSTANT since I know you don't sleep!), for your work with the website, donating all of the heartART to the events around the country, and just generally being incredibly awesome. Thank you for opening your house to Harlot and I over the weekend, and I absolutely want to continue to work together in many aspects and stay involved with Camp Kindle and the Diamond Foundation. The Lincoln KFAC was simply amazing - thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Harlot - you are extraordinary. Thank you for flying out from North Carolina to be a part of Lincoln's KFAC. I am humbled to know you believe in and support KFAC, and it would not have been the same without you. It was wonderful to see you, and a blast sharing a stage with you once again. Thank you for lending your talents to Kings For A Cause III. You are an inspiration to so many. Never stop.
I truly could ramble on forever because I don't have the words to adequately express how grateful, proud and happy I am right now. I cannot thank all of you enough. You have touched my heart. Thank you for reminding me *exactly* why I do this.
Kings For A Cause IV is already in the works. I would like to fundraise throughout the year and set up a travel fund for KFAC entertainers to travel to events outside of their hometowns - it is an amazing experience everyone should have, and would be an incredible and efficient way to continue networking Kings across the country. I know many of you have expressed interest in traveling out of state, so let's see if we can make that happen! I would love to meet each and every one of you.
Keep the spirit of KFAC with you throughout the year. Don't stop giving yourselves, don't stop doing what you believe in. Your passion for your art and your community is your driving force - don't let anyone change that. Please friend my drag profile on FB if you haven't already, and stay in touch!
Much love and respect to all -
Founder of Kings For A Cause