Raising over $53,000 for the charities sponsored by the Grand Ducal Council of San Francisco, the current court headed by their majesties, Grand Duke Moses Garcia and Grand Duchess Paloma Volare St. James will be remembered for the most money raised in a year in the 40 year history of this non-profit organization.
Most people who ever heard about the Ducal Council, may only have a very narrow perception of the great work the organization has accomplished. Most see Drag Queens in tiaras and all those shows at bars dedicated to raising money for charities.
It is that and much more.
The grassroots fundraising strategy has literally raised every dollar one at a time. This comes from donated performances from Drag Queens. Selling raffle tickets by volunteers in the community that garners them royal -titles but the opportunity to give back to the many non-profit charities that benefit many people. There are jello shots, auctions and simple outreach. Everyone can give a dollar, especially if you are getting a drink at your favorite LGBT watering hole.
Garcia and St. James have especially made a large difference. Each worked to lead in their own ways and garner funds. They were united in their common service for good.
Sometimes it was difficult with the time commitment. Sometimes there were barriers. However , both Monarchs captured the respect of the community they served, raised the money, and brought in leaders ( especially the younger set) to participate and set the tone for the future.
I have known Moses Garcia, “Moe Jo”, for several years now. I am not surprised by his accomplishment. He has been an active member of the community. He has spent hundreds of hours in volunteer work before ever being elected to Grand Duke. His infectious laugh can be heard throughout the Castro. I call it his signature.
Moe Jo has a likability quotient that has helped him lead well. He is like my brother.
I served with Paloma Volare St. James in a previous court. I watched her ( him) engaged many to give money or volunteer. She also is one of the most well-respected Drag Performers in San Francisco. She fit naturally into leadership . No one can forget her flight attendant themed campaign. Like, Garcia, she has been a willing volunteer in the community for years.
They leave a legacy for others to emulate. They have set the challenge for future Monarchs to raise even more money.
As they end their reign and the newly elected monarchs take their place at Coronation on Saturday, September 28th, we will remember the leadership and accomplishments of Moses Garcia and Paloma Volare St. James.
Moe Jo and Paloma, I am sure there is much more appreciation that you deserve for what you have done for our community. You have earned the highest accolades. Thank you for leading the way, making some dreams come true for the charities you supported and for being great friends to all of us.
You have a reign to remember and much love from many here in the bay area.
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