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Seattle primps for Red Dress Party
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Seattle primps for Red Dress Party

by James Whitely - SGN Contributing Writer

The Second Annual
Seattle Red Dress Party
November 21
Naval Reserve Center
South Lake Union


Got a pretty red dress? You'll need one for Seattle's Second Annual Red Dress Party on Saturday November 21. The Red Dress Party is a unique fundraiser for local HIV/AIDS charities in that it is specifically designed for not just the LGBT community, but for everyone.

I caught up with Sam Galano and Tracy Schultz, creators and chief promoters of the Seattle Red Dress Party, at the first Red Dress Exchange, held at the Baltic Room on November 12.

"Any pretense that may have come in is otherwise left at the door", said Galano. The party is designed so that everyone, regardless of orientation, gender or status, is just a person in a red dress. "It hides the Gay/straight trends," added Schultz.

With a smile, Galano then reminisced about last year's first Seattle Red Dress Party, where he overheard a man complaining that the dress his wife had picked out for him wasn't "showy" enough.

The idea for the Seattle Red Dress Party came out of Portland, which recently held its Ninth Annual Red Dress Party. With Portland's blessing, the first Seattle Red Dress Party was held last year.

Last year, the party far exceeded expectations in terms of numbers. "We had 550-600 people last year," said Galano. The party raised $3,000 last year for Gay City, Multifaith Works, and the Pet Project. The three charities will be the beneficiaries this year as well.

The dress exchange was also drawn from the Portland party. Also a fundraiser for HIV/AIDS charities, it's designed for those who may not want to go dress shopping just anywhere.

"Gay or straight, not everyone is comfortable buying a dress in a store. & You go out with friends, buy cocktails, then go shopping. We thought, if we created that forum for them & then it would be another tremendous fundraiser for the non-profits," said Galano.

The idea was that anyone could bring in any red dress and get a ticket worth $10 towards the purchase of any other dress on the rack. Fitting rooms were set up near the bar, while patrons tried on dresses and modeled for pictures.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Abbey of St. Joan staffed the exchange. "There's room for everybody to do something. The Sisters will most likely run the Red Dress Exchange by themselves next year," said Galano.

Both Galano and Schultz would love to see more local organizations coming forward to volunteer for the Red Dress Party next year.

The Red Dress Party is sponsored by the Pride Project and will be held at the Naval Reserve Center at South Lake Union. Last Year's DJs, the Perry Twins from Los Angeles, will be returning to spin the party. So, as the promoters say, get your drink on, get your dress on, and get ready to party. Tickets are $25 presale, $35 at the door. VIP Tickets are $50 presale, $60 at the door.

Visit www.seattlereddressparty.org for more information or to buy tickets.

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