A Team San Francisco
fundraiser for Under One Roof AIDS organizations
July 12, 1998
by Ginger Smith, GingerSLP@aol.com
Fifteen of Team San Francisco's skaters at Gay Games V in Amsterdam previewed their routines last July 12, 1998. The event raised money for Under One Roof AIDS service organizations and had nearly sold out seats and an enthusiastic audience.
There were some beginning skaters, as well as some top quality professionals. There was also a silent auction (I got carried away and was high bidder for tickets to CATS and Phantom), a same-sex ballroom dancing exhibit (a sampling of a competition quite tastefully done), dessert table and martial arts exhibit.
Opening number set the tone; all skaters in black performing a freestyle warmup which was quite effective. Next came a tribute to Garry Braid [late adult gay skater] featuring the NAMES project quilt. About seven skaters in black carrying a slim red ribbon glided across the ice and unfurled a large AIDS ribbon, while one by one they performed their signature moves to the music, "Why Ask Why."
Following that the highlight performer, for me, was Jay Kobayashi (my own skating coach) whose "Swing Kids" was delightful. His showmanship was excellent, along with his posture, jumps and style. Thom Mullins' "Titanic" was emotionally performed. Lisa Labrecque had some excellent jumps. I enjoyed Louis Vachon's performance including great Russian splits in "Time to Say Goodbye." Rick Sherwin's cowboy number was adorable. Angelo D'Agostino (what a hunk) and Don Corbiell were quite effective as pairs with throws, lifts, spirals, side-by-side spins in a dramatic number. Michael Mansfield and Kevin Yell did a delightful dance number. Steve Lukens, Steve Blumenthal, Sean Crowley, Mike Dianda skated to deeply felt programs. The Send-off to Amsterdam featured a large rainbow flag and then--to top everything off--Queen's "We are the Champions." I'm glad I was a volunteer at this beautiful evening.