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Open Arms of MN Throws First-ever Drag Brunch Fundraiser



Tygra Trinity Slarii performs at the Open Arms Drag Brunch in early December.

Courtesy of Open Arms

The true test of any real diva is getting her eyelashes on straight before 10 a.m.And the women of Flip Phone Drag Brunchare just the kind of real divas to show up for an early Sunday Brunch, to entertain and help raise money and awareness for a worthy cause.
Open Arms of Minnesota, which delivers thousands of meals weekly, free of charge, to people with life-threatening illnesses and their families, is now raising funds in the best possible way—with drag queens and bloodies. 
The legacy of Open Arms began with individuals suffering from HIV/ AIDS, and when founder Bill Rowe began cooking meals in his apartment in 1986 and delivering the food to people too sick to take care of themselves. The organization is now one of our state’s greatest assets, with more than a half million meals annually going to people in need. 

Naturally, these efforts take money. Lots of it.

While nearly 8,000 volunteers make up the Open Arms culinary and delivery team, in addition to a dedicated permanent staff, the financial commitment to make the operation work is constant. Fundraising efforts vary, including popup dinners, workplace giving, sponsorship, estate gifts, and more. But the newly instituted biannual Drag Brunch might be the fiercest way to give. 

Emcee and performer Tygra Trinity Slarii kept the energy high and the mood effervescent in spite of the early Sunday morning performance. Other performers including Sasha Carter Iman, and Lila Vera somehow managed high kicks, splits, and handstands between the tight rows of tables laden with mini quiche and French toast with whipped cream. 

An extra enjoyable moment came when Slarii accidentally knocked a wall clock from its perch and turned it into a makeshift tambourine. “What’s wrong with y’all? Why don’t you have your clocks mounted properly?” She wanted to know. 

But whatever. A tambourine beats knowing what time it is any old day. 

Prairie Organic Vodka provided the Sunday cheer, and MAC Cosmetics was stationed with a lipstick station so everyone could stand a chance of getting a little more glam. The $48 ticket price included admission to the show, brunch buffet prepared by Open Arms' team of chefs, a drink ticket, and a $20 tax-deductible donation to Open Arms. Every ticket purchased also means four meals for a client living with HIV/AIDS. 

Keep an eye on the Open Arms of Minnesota Website for information on the next Drag Brunch Fundraiser. 

Pro tip:make sure to stack up on some cash to tip performers, which is proper drag etiquette.  The last thing you want is to anger a woman in an aquamarine wig and six-inch platforms who happens to be wielding a wall clock. 


Lila Vera entertains guests at Open Arms first Drag Brunch.

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