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April 20th, 2009
Bobcat Ball raises money for AIDS research

Female impersonator Amber Rain addresses members of Lambda at the Bobcat Ball. Photos by Andy Sevilla.

Associate Editor

A Texas State social organization made good on a monetary pledge for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on Saturday night. Lambda, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) group at Texas State, hosted a charity event, known as Bobcat Ball, at Bar One41 in San Marcos.

Lambda President Scott Schoenmakers said approximately $1,650 will be awarded to AHF, after Lambda made a $1,000 pledge and exceeded expectations.

“We met our goal,” Schoenmakers said. “This is such an important cause, because it affects everyone, not just the LGBT community. It’s very important for the community to know about it. The raise in HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) doesn’t discriminate on sexual orientation.”

The “Roaring ’20s” theme party attracted heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, entertaining them with five female impersonators from Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. The entertainers performed without compensation and donated all tips received to Lambda’s philanthropy.

“Ultimately, it’s about AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) education,” said Amber Rain, master of ceremony for the event and female impersonator. “I’ve been fundraising for about 15 years. I do it to improve the community and raise awareness.”

AHF, a non-profit organization, has provided lifesaving medical care and services free of charge to 100,267 people infected with HIV/AIDS in 21 countries around the globe, according to its website. AHF began operations in 1987 as a group of activist interested in providing hospice services to HIV-infected individuals dying in the streets of Los Angeles. The organization expanded worldwide in 2002, opening its first clinic in South Africa. Sixty eight clinics are now operating in the United States, Africa, Asia, and Latin America, including the Caribbean.

“It’s an honor to be asked to help serve the cause,” Rain said. “The younger community is enticed with raising funds, and, while doing so, are having fun and making a difference in the world.”

Texas State Associated Student Government (ASG) Vice President-Elect Tommy Luna, who was in attendance at the event, said the university will turn a new leaf in the months to come. Luna is a member of Lambda, and said his administration will focus on diversity and put forth effort in recognizing all the different groups on campus.

“The event was great,” Luna said. “I saw a lot of people that are in the (LBGT) community and a lot that aren’t, so it goes to show that we can come together for a great cause. It affects everyone.”

Luna said being openly gay in ASG has not affected any of his work, and in fact, he said, “everyone’s embraced it.”

“We’re trying to be a positive influence across campus,” Schoenmakers said. “We’re trying to educate and raise awareness. We need to get more people involved.”

Schoenmakers said San Marcos lacks “gay night clubs and gay bars and it leaves many people without representation in the city.” He said Lambda is an outlet for the LGBT community to interact with others and “be themselves comfortably.”

Schoenmakers said Lambda also is invested in the political climate, advocating and endorsing different proposed policies in the national and state legislatures.

Amber Rain talks while female impersonator Mona, left, and Lambda officer Schott Schoenmakers, center, look on.

Mona performs as tips rain on the stage.

Mona, right, hands a tip to Amber Rain.

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12 thoughts on “Bobcat Ball raises money for AIDS research

  1. Great article, Andy. And it was fun running into you at the event. Lambda is a great organization and this year’s bobcat ball was the best I’ve been to in the past few semesters. I hope this raises awareness not only for AIDS, but for the fabulous LGBT community we have at Texas State and in San Marcos.

  2. Good job Newstreamz. This, perhaps unconventional, event served a great cause and deserved coverage. None of the other newspapers seemed to care. I think HIV awareness is very necessary, specially being in a college town. Our youth needs to be informed of the dangers they may encounter. I also think AHF is a wonderful organization, one of which I hadnt heard. I just researched their website and made my small donation, since I was unaware this even took place or even existed.

  3. Ms. California in the Miss USA pageant on Sunday lost the crown, she got first runner up. Many are attributing her loss to her answer of the ever pressing question, should states follow suit after Vermont legalized gay marriage. She said no.
    I dont know if she lost the pageant because of her answer, I mean Ms North Carolina was beautiful, but it goes to show that our country might be changing for the best. Diversity, tolerance, and seperation from church and state might be right around the corner.

  4. The University Star also covered this event twice. There’s also video on their website.
    I agree that there’s not a lot of gay friendly places in San Marcos.

  5. It’s great to see coverage of this kind of event and highlight the good that the LGBT commuinity — and the young people involved in it — is doing. Bravo and I will look forward to more.

  6. What a eventful night. This was a great cause and im glad a numerous amount of the community came out to support. With support from Texas State Universitys LAMBDA organization, this has been the direction to bring together not only the GLBT but all with an open mind.

  7. An interesting point is raised. San Marcos does not have a gay bar, but Im not sure that we want one in San Marcos. Im not opposed to the homosexual lifestyle, but we’re christian in San Marcos – we pray at our council meetings for crying out loud. Although it seems I’m against a gay bar opening here, I’m not. I’m not against it because one thing wrong with our party is that we don’t seperate church and state. Let our citizens decide if a gay bar is in the prospective future here. Although I must say I will not be frequenting any gay bars.

  8. Katie I hate to break it to you but there are alot of CHRISTIAN GAYS ! And I’ll be dammed if there are alot of christioan gays in San Marcos! who would of thunk it ?

  9. The city cannot legally differentiate between different types of bars/nightclubs on the basis of whether the patrons will be predominately homosexual. The fact that you would even suggest citizens have the right to do that is sad.

    Don’t want a gay bar in San Marcos… now that is a hoot! By my last count we have at least four head shops in town. We have a restaurant whose entire marketing strategy is based on the female breast. I hardly think a gay bar is a threat to the city’s morals! I guess homosexuals are 2nd class citizens deserving of disparate treatment in your world.

    I’m straight, but if I had the capital available I would open a gay-friendly bar/nightclub in a heartbeat!

  10. Actually “government hack” what I meant by , we’ll let the residents decide if they want a gay bar in San Marcos, is that if people want one here, then they’ll frequent it and keep it afloat in our economic climate. If they dont want one here, then they’ll will stay away and continue supporting Dillingers, Rocky’s, Barfish, Newphews, whatever. Please dont put a spin on my words.
    Also, Im very aware of the head shops (of which I disagree with as well, but our residents keep afloat) in our town. That is my point. I disagree, as a chrisitian, with the head shops, but our residents support them. I disagree with a gay bar, but if our residents support it and keep it in business, then welcome. That is my point! Just because I disagree with them coming to San Marcos, doesnt not mean Im opposed to them existing here. I dont (unlike my party, whom I do support) impose my personal beliefs and principle on anyone else, but myself and my family. Im all about democracy, and although I disagree with that type of business, if our residents want it, then welcome. I just wont be spending my dollars there. Point – the end!

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