Since 1973 , the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco founded by H.L. Perry ( also Grand Duchess I) , has raised about a couple of million dollars for many charities in the San Francisco community. What is remarkable is that this group of volunteers raise money at bars and other event venues, and raise their fund one dollar at a time.
Last year, the amount raised was over $53,000 , an annual record.
Led by a Board of Directors , with an election every year for the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of a new court, the organizaton executes all its fundraising efforts for each new year ( reign).
The election this year will be cpnducted on Saturday, September 21st. Residents, with official picture I.D.’s , from San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties can vote. There are three polling areas with various operational times where you can cast a vote. They are:
- Magnet at 4122 18th Street ( in the Castro) 2 p.m.-6 p.m.
- Project OpenHand 730 Polk Street 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- The Eagle 398 12th Street 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.
I have been involved with the Ducal Council for over three years now. I have enjoyed the activities I have been able to raise money to help great non-profit organizations who assist the needy.
Despite all it’s protocals, tittles and glitter, the Ducal concil is made up of some of the most down to earth and amazing individuals who work tirelessly for good causes. There are definitiely colorful characters, wmong the group, but they do their work with heart.
Even within LGBT circles, there is not an understanding of the great good that this organization has achieved.
By their involvement , they have naturally been advocates for LGBT causes over the 40 years. It is is one of those iconic organizations that has marked history with its impact.
I had a great opportunity recently to sit down with two individuals, one who held the title of Grand Duchess twice and now serves on the Ducal Board, Collette Le Grande Ashton and also Ducal Director, Fred Townson. They shared some of the historical and even dramatic history of the Ducal Council. It’s history is rich and runs parallel often intersecting with the progress and the story of the LGBT community throughout the years.
On Saturday, September 27th, the 40th anniversary will be celebrated in the world famous and very San Francisco Hornblower Cruise on the bay. There will be dinner, drink and dance. The public is invited. It will be a celebration! Tickets are going fast and must be purchased by Sept. 20th. Here is the link to buy your tickets:
Here are a few of the charities they support.
As we all celebrate these wonderful 40 years of giving that the Council achieved, let’s look forward to 40 more years of fabulousness and making a difference in the lives of multitudes.
Happy 40th Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco!
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