Save The Koalas, A 12 Hour Fundraiser For Australian Wildlife
Bring your cash and your checkbook to Fred Wildlife Refuge this Sunday for a 12 hour drag extravaganza: Save The Koalas, A Fundraiser For Australian Wildlife. More than 50 performers, not including photographers, and staff, have donated their time and tips to organizations that will directly help the bushfire crisis in Australia. Performances run from noon to midnight on January 26, Australia Day.
Cameron DeWitt Ruiz and Kaleb Dameron were inspired to organize the fundraiser after seeing an article in a UK magazine about a similar drag-a-thon at London’s Two Brewers. Cameron and Kaleb worked with BeautyBoiz and Capacity Talent Management to coordinate the impressive lineup of performers, including CarLarans, LüChi, Gaysha Starr, Ladie Chablis, Minerva Markos, Isabella Extynn, Brandon Lentz, Amora Dior Black, and Ade. Fred Wildlife Refuge donated the venue for the event, making it “a budget of zero dollars.”
“We did tally up what this event would have cost if we went with everyone’s booking fees, and with all of the donated time, the donated alcohol, the donated venue, all of that, this event would have cost between 16 and 20 thousand dollars to throw,” DeWitt Ruiz commented.
With donated time and labor, all of the funds raised will go to three carefully-vetted Australian organizations. In fact, because they are being so thorough about selecting the groups to donate to, that they’re still in the process of screening them. The intention is to select one organization that helps save and rehabilitate koalas, another to benefit wildlife in general, and one for firefighters.
“We’re not doing any of the big ones,” explained Cameron. “We’re not doing the Australian Red Cross. The goal was to find smaller family-owned organizations that a smaller donation will go a lot farther. If we’re donating five thousand dollars it actually makes a difference. So my Australian friends are really helping with [investigating] that.”
There will be a sliding-scale donation cover charge, as well as opportunities to donate via check or online. Everyone who attends will receive a token with which they can vote to decide where the bulk of funds will go to. “If one organization gets 50 percent of the vote,” Cameron described, “they will get 50 percent of the money that is brought in that day, as kind of a way to equalize things.”
Expect lots of Australian-themed performances, i.e. Kylie Minogue, Delta Goodrem, and Aussie hits, as well as personal accounts from people who live there. “I have reached out to all of those people that I personally know [from Australia], and at least two or three of them are contributing videos, or a letter that is going to be shown or read at the fundraising event. Even more than Australian music, and Australian pop stars, there is part of the overall Australian community also involved in their own way,” DeWitt Ruiz said.
A schedule of performers is available at the event’s Facebook page.