In an effort to crank up the heat and combat the darkness, a Winter White Solstice Ball will be held Saturday at Wasabi’s Fusion as a fundraiser for the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic.
The party’s main attraction is a guest appearance from the Divas, a drag troupe that performs weekly at the Mad Myrna’s night club in Anchorage.
Gina Pelaia, who will host the party along with Jerami Youngblood and Amy Reedy, said that the Divas were the biggest inspiration for the event. The troupe came down to Homer this fall to perform at Youngblood’s birthday party, and mentioned to Pelaia that many years ago they had performed at Alice’s Champagne Palace as a fundraiser for the KBFPC. They said they would love to come back to Homer to do another fundraiser for the clinic, and the idea for the Solstice Ball was born.
Pelaia said the party’s white theme is intended to inspire bright costumes that bring some light back into the darkest weekend of the year.
“We’re hoping people will wear light colors to brighten things up, but they don’t have to wear white,” she said. “They can wear masks, costumes. Just get fun with it.”
In addition to the performances of four Divas, Saturday’s event will feature a light show from Dustin Davis of Fractal Theory Productions and music from DJ Michael Hurd. Katie Henry will take professional portraits in a photo booth, and Brandie Simmons will provide face painting. Proceeds from ticket sales, photo orders, face painting, and tips given to the Divas will be donated directly to KBFPC.
Heather O’Connor, KBFPC’s director, said the clinic was thrilled when Pelaia, Youngblood and Reedy approached them with the idea for the fundraiser. The generosity of all parties involved in the event, including Wasabi’s who supplied the venue and Bay Realty who donated housing for the Divas, mirrors the historical support KBFBC has received from the Homer community over the years.
“KBFPC’s growth and longevity is a testament to the extraordinary kindness, vision and generosity of our community,” O’Connor wrote in an email.
KBFPC is a member-supported organization that was founded in 1983 by a group of volunteers who identified a need for affordable reproductive health care services in the Homer community.
“What began as a limited screening and education service staffed by volunteers is now a comprehensive reproductive healthcare clinic with 10 professional staff. No one is turned away due to an inability to pay.” wrote O’Connor.
KBFPC provides services such as annual well-woman health checks, birth control consultations and supplies, STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, a low-cost vasectomy program, and help enrolling in health insurance. The clinic also offers youth education programs and participates in community health outreach.
While KBFPC receives funding from a variety of sources including the Title X program, Medicaid and private insurance, O’Connor emphasized that it is donations from individuals and businesses in the Homer community that allow the clinic to serve everyone who comes through their doors, regardless of their ability to pay.
KBFPC hopes to sell all 200 tickets to the Solstice Ball this weekend and raise more than $4,000. The funds from the event will support reproductive health care services, community outreach and education programs for youth.
The Winter White Solstice Ball will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are on sale for $20, and can be bought in advance at KBFPC or at Wasabi’s on Saturday night.
Lindsay Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.