For 15 years Glamstand has given parade watchers a comfortable place to sit ­at the same time raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for HIV support organisation the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation (BGF).
This year BGF will add a bold, new event to its Mardi Gras fundraising calender — a race day at Randwick known as Pink Stiletto, on February 26.
“We’re hoping to raise tens of thousands of dollars for people living with HIV,” BGF CEO Bev Lange said.
“As with all of our fundraisers, the money raised from the Pink Stiletto will go towards helping our clients: people living with HIV. It will be allocated to programs such as financial assistance, supported accommodation and our ever-increasing vocational counselling and capacity building programs that help our clients return to work or study, undertake volunteering opportunities and re-connect with society, thereby breaking out of the cycle of social isolation and embracing positive change.”
Glamstand and Pink Stiletto will be of central importance to BGF this year. As the world’s economy tightened so did people’s generosity towards charities. BGF, like so many organisations, felt that impact.
“Fundraising has definitely been more challenging for everyone in the not-for-profit sector since the impact of the global financial crisis. People seem to be less inclined to sign up to regular giving programs, preferring to make donations as and when their circumstances allow. However, BGF is travelling pretty well thanks to our generous donors. We are deeply grateful for their unwavering support,” Lange said.
“We rely on our fundraising income to deliver our core services to our clients. While our fundraising income has been steady over the last two years, there has been a significant increase in new clients.
“Right now, BGF is providing a range of services to over 1450 people living with HIV across NSW. In the 2008-09 financial year, 257 new clients registered with BGF — an increase in new clients of almost 20 percent on the previous financial year.”
The Australian Jockey Club’s head of marketing and sponsorship, Bettina Brown, said having the world’s first gay and lesbian race day was exciting for Royal Randwick.
“Given the proximity of our racecourse to the heart of the city, it lent itself to holding an event during the Mardi Gras festival,” she said.
Pink Stiletto’s patron will be the infamous Gai Waterhouse who Brown said was quick to lend her support.
“The Pink Stiletto was not only a way for Gai to help the AJC to raise funds for BGF, but also an opportunity to open the doors of Royal Randwick and showcase her sport to thousands of people who had never been to the track before,” she said.
“The AJC hopes the Pink Stiletto race day will become a marquee event on the Royal Randwick racing calendar during the Mardi Gras festival period. It will be a fabulous day of fun and fashion, racing and style — and provides the local gay and lesbian community and interstate and international visitors with a new and exciting event.”
As well as the great races you would expect, Brown said Pink Stiletto would feature a drag queen race — though betting will be fraught with difficulty.
“We’re asking the drags to whip off their pumps, jump out of the starter gates and race the last 50 metres of Randwick’s famous straight,” she said. “It’s bound to be a highlight of the day.”
But in all the excitement of grabbing tickets, frocks, suits and hot pants for the race day, don’t forget to grab your ticket for Glamstand 2010.
“Traditionally, Glamstand has been the largest single fundraising event on the BGF calendar,” Lange said.
“We generally raise anywhere between $80,000-$100,000 from Glamstand, which is a substantial proportion of our fundraising income. It is also important for raising BGF’s profile in the community.”
Sydney Star Observer columnist Maxi Shield and the vivacious Verushka Darling will again host the VIP viewing area. The bar area will return, as will M.A.C Cosmetics.
“BGF has enjoyed the support of the M.A.C AIDS Fund (MAF) for 11 years. Since 1998, MAF has donated $1.07 million (AUD) to BGF from the sales of Viva Glam products in NSW,” Lange said.
Lange also paid tribute to BGF’s long-serving and tireless volunteers, without whom events like Glamstand and Pink Stiletto would not be a success.
“Our volunteer supporters are crucial to the organisation and success of Glamstand. They work tirelessly through the day and night to help us pull the event together. We simply could not run the event without them,” she said.
“To our supporters, we want to say, Thank you! Without your love, care and kindness, we could not achieve what we do. “

info: Pink Stiletto will be held at Royal Randwick on February 26. For more information visit www.pinkstiletto.com.au

info: For Glamstand tickets, call Ticketmaster on 136 100 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.au

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