5:05 AM / Wednesday March 22, 2023

5 Feb 2012

Lucky 13th Annual Black-Tie GayBINGO held on March 17 to benefit AIDS Fund

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February 5, 2012 Category: Local Posted by:

Clear Channel News Director Loraine Ballard Morrill named “Favorite Straight Person of the Year


A little bit of glam, a lot of fabulous, and a whirlwind of fun await guests at the 13th Annual Black-Tie GayBINGO presented by PECO, where all the funds raised go to HIV/AIDS services right here in the Greater Philadelphia region. Black-Tie GayBINGO, one of Philadelphia’s most creative and off-beat annual events, will take place at 6:30 PM on Saturday, March 17, 2012, at the elegant Crystal Tea Room.


Enjoy cocktails and a silent auction, six bingo games, and entertainment from the Bingo Verifying Divas (BVDs), who dress in glamorous drag to entertain the crowd and ensure everyone has laughs and a great time while raising funds for HIV and AIDS. At this year’s event, AIDS Fund will award the “Favorite Straight Person of the Year” to Loraine Ballard Morrill, News Director and Community Affairs Director for Clear Channel Radio’s six Philadelphia stations.

In addition, the Founders’ Award will be presented to the William Way Community Center. The Ferrara Family Volunteer Awards will be presented to Garry Stover and Steve Terrill. Loraine Ballard Morrill, this year’s Favorite Straight Person of the Year, is currently News Director and Community Affairs Director for Clear Channel Radio’s six Philadelphia stations. Loraine hosts and produces Clear Channel Philadelphia’s Community Affairs Programs and also coordinates community outreach and campaigns for all the stations.


Ms. Ballard has been a longtime advocate for raising awareness around HIV/AIDS since she was News Director for Power 99 producing the first series of features in talking about the issue on radio in the early eighties. She has consistently worked to give voice to the many people and groups in the HIV/AIDS community and to counter discrimination and misconceptions about the disease. “Besides all the fun and fabulosity that is GayBINGO – one of my favorite things is the GayBINGO Pledge. In the spirit of the pledge, I personally promise to keep on using the media to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS until this crisis is over.”


Past recipients of the “Favorite Straight Person of the Year” are former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, former Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street, former Councilman Angel Ortiz, radio and television personality Bret Hamilton, community leaders John Cella and Judith Eden, activist Anna Forbes, longtime AIDS Walk Philly supporters Andrea Finkelstein Losben and Patricia Lavelle, former executive director of the Family Planning Council Dorothy Mann, and, in 2011, The Reverend Marlene “Mike” Haines formerly of the Church of Saint Luke and The Epiphany. The Founders’ Award is being presented to the William Way Community Center (WWCC). The William Way Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center is the premiere LGBT Community Center serving the Philadelphia region. The Center was formed in 1996, and since then has developed an array of programming and services that target LGBT groups, and community organizations have moved permanent offices into the Community Center.


The offices of AIDS Fund are currently in the WWCC, and the two organizations collaborate in a number of ways to help each other succeed in their missions. Most recently, in the fall of 2011, AIDS Fund developed a multi-media display to commemorate the 30th year of the AIDS epidemic, as well as the 25th Annual AIDS Walk Philly, which hung in the lobby of WWCC for three months. WWCC sponsored the exhibit, and opened their extensive archives of Philadelphia’s LGBT community to contribute content as well. The display of pictures, newspaper clippings, personal stories, videos, and memorabilia entitled “1981 – Until It’s Over…” was a huge success according to Chris Bartlett, Executive Director of William Way, “It was one of the best and most effective archive exhibits we have ever had at the Center. I heard from many members of the community that the history was beautifully documented, and individuals found it very moving.”


This year’s Black-Tie GayBINGO presented by PECO will feature dinner, six bingo games, a silent auction, and dancing. Tickets are $150 per person. The Crystal Tea Room is in the Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia. For tickets, call 215-731-9255 or visit Black-Tie GayBINGO is sponsored by National Penn Bank, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, Tavern Group, William Way LGBT Community Center, VU Sound, El Dorado Rum, and Philadelphia Weekly.


In addition to the annual Black-Tie GayBINGO, AIDS Fund’s monthly GayBINGO events raise vital funds for HIV/AIDS services. This fun event is open to anyone who enjoys campy humor, hosted by drag queens known as the BVDs (Bingo Verifying Divas). Each night of Bingo has its own theme and set of special Bingo games. Cash prizes are awarded for each game. GayBINGO is held once a month on Saturday nights at the Gershman Y at Broad and Pine Streets in Philadelphia. Entrance is on Broad Street. All games begin at 7 PM.


This event has raised over $2.5 million to date. The remaining spring schedule is as follows: February 11 – Countdown to Mardi Gras GayBINGO! – Sequins, feathers, and beads. Oh my! March 24 – Touch-A, Touch-A, Touch Me GayBINGO! – “I want to be dirty!” (Rocky Horror Picture Show); April 21 – Waaaay-Off Broadway GayBINGO! – A tribute to the theater, BVD style! May 19 – 16 Candles GayBINGO! – We’re celebrating the 80s and our Sweet 16! June 9 – Under the Boardwalk GayBINGO! – On a blanket with my baby is where I’ll be! Reserved seating is $25 and balcony seating is $20.


The AIDS Fund grant program supports organizations in the Philadelphia Region that provide AIDS and HIV related services, education, and prevention including increasing public awareness of HIV/AIDS issues. AIDS Fund is the producer of AIDS Walk Philly, GayBINGO, and other fundraising and awareness programs throughout the year. The 26th Annual AIDS Walk Philly will take place on Sunday, October 21, 2012. Contact AIDS Fund at 215-731-9255 or Follow AIDS Fund on Facebook and Twitter:, and

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