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Thank You, Buffalo

My name is Garrett King, a.k.a. Vanity Vogue, and most who know me know that I am very involved in fundraising as a member of the Imperial Court of Buffalo(, a past Empress in Reign 18 and a member for nearly 10 years.

In those 10 years, I have seen thousands and thousands of dollars being donated to local charities, including just recently, when Reign 19 Emperor Toy and Empress Coco disbursed $22,000 to local charities, including Benedict House, MOCHA, Gilda’s Club, and P.A.C.T. at Childrens Hospital, to just mention a few.

Just recently I had the pleasure and honor to join hundreds of people not only from the “gay community” but many from all corners of this amazing city of good neighbors as we came together to help someone very special and dear to our community, Jennifer Mason. Jennifer, who is employed at the Underground Nite Club on Delaware Avenue, brings a smile to everyone who knows her. She is someone who gives unconditionally and does it with a smile and a gracious heart.

Jennifer was diagnosed with cancer and would have rather kept this to herself than burden anyone with her situation. But when her closest friends and employers, Tom and Andy, approached her about helping her she never expected what happened on a recent Sunday at Fontana’s Grove. Hundreds of donations were made by businesses and individuals: Food was donated, a show was put on, paper shoes were sold for $1 at all the bars, drink specials and so much more. When the totals started coming in they reached $14,100 (so far) for a Sunday afternoon on a hot summer day to help one of our own to help with the financial burden of medical expenses and such.

So I wanted to personally take the oppurtunity to say thank you to this amazing community, to the bar owners, and to the hundreds of friends and family of Jennifer who stepped up and said, “Count me in.” I chose to write to you, the editor of Artvoice, because I see how much you support this community and I saw no better place to say thanks. I can see the fundraiser for Jennifer possibly getting a nomination for next years Best of Buffalo awards for “Best Fundraiser.” Again I am proud to be a part of this amazing community, and you all have earned the name “City of Good Neighbors”—and “Queen City” seems fitting as well, LOL.

In loving service to the community,

Vanity Vogue, Buffalo

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