By DALE MADISON
On September 23, Women In Distress of Broward County (WID) held a fundraising event at Lips Cabaret: The Ultimate in Drag Dining (1421 E Oakland Park Blvd, Oakland Park). The evening, entitled “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” was a tribute to the late Whitney Houston and Donna Summer, a one-night event that was a virtual sellout, and helped to generate nearly $6,000 for the organization, the only nationally accredited, state-certified, full service domestic violence center serving Broward County.
The Ladies of Lips performed such classics as “Last Dance,” “Bad Girls,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” “Step by Step,” and “I Will Always Love You,” and the cast included show hostess Nicolette, and performers April, Alexis, Martina, Champagne, and others. As well as the stage show, a Silent Auction also helped rake in extra funds, and the entertainers donated their tips to benefit the cause, which in this case will support the agency’s 24-hour crisis intervention hotline and emergency shelter, as well as counseling and support for victims and their children. WID also provides education and professional training about the tragedy of domestic violence and related topics in Broward County schools and in the community.
“Women In Distress is very grateful to Lips and other businesses that support our mission of keeping families safe,” said Mary Riedel, the agency’s president and CEO. “This event is always enjoyed and looked forward to by our supporters and we, of course, look forward to the funds that are raised to help keep the families safe with support groups and emergency shelter,” she added.
The organization’s name is something of a misnomer, as they assist not only women, but men and transgendered people who are in personal distress. They have extended their umbrella to an increasing need in the community.
“We have really grown in the last few years,” one attendee—who left before I could get her name, shame on both of us—told me. “Of course, we were an advocate for women to protect them from abusive relationships, but we’ve seen a need to expand our services, and we are truly elated that we have been so accepted, and that we have been able to help so many others in need.” Lips superstar Diva created the Glitz & Glam fundraiser in 2010 to benefit Women in Distress. Each year the event has a different theme, but a single purpose: to help Women in Distress with a great meal, a great time, and the talent of the Ladies of Lips.
For more information about Women in Distress of Broward County, Inc., visit womenindistress.org. For more about Lips Caberet, and to make reservations, visit lipsusa.com.