As your Cyber Main Gay, it may come as no surprise to you that I love fantasy. Love it! After seeing the Wizard of Oz for the first time at 4 years old, I’ve always wanted to go “Over the Rainbow.” I know that’s over the top, even for me, but I can’t help it! Unlike Dorothy, I’ve worked in the beauty industry for 30 years, and I’m not afraid of witches, good or bad. I’m accustomed to those wicked girls! I can totally understand having a cat fight over Ruby Slippers! There are a few witches that I’d like to melt with water, but you’ll have to wait for my book to read about that! Growing up in a small city in North Carolina in the 1960’s and 70’s, I would constantly imagine myself as one of the characters in my favorite movies and TV shows to escape the boredom. Just like Samantha Stevens on Bewitched, I wish I could twitch my nose and transport myself to those fabulous imaginary TV locations. Thanks to the magical couple Jillian Manus and Alan Salzman, my wish finally came true!! I was lucky enough to attend their spectacular Valentines Day Ball–“Channeling Love 2011,” the 6th annual glamorous black tie event raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Stanford Cancer Center. The gala started as a tribute to Alan’s mother, Helen Salzman, who survived cancer with the help of the Center. With a ticket price of $1500 per person and with every penny going to cancer research, Jillian and Alan are able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
My magical journey begins as I pull up to their beautiful Atherton, California mansion. As I arrive, 8 handsome gentlemen, costumed as characters from the popular 70’s show “The Love Boat” offer to valet park my car. Wow. I’ve always wanted to be Julie the Cruise Director! As I ascend up a red carpet at least a mile long (or so it seemed), I pass through a gigantic TV and a rainbow. An actual rainbow!! Oh Toto! I have a feeling we’re not in Atherton any more! I’ve entered the magical land of television past! My ruby red path is lined with too many televisions to count, all playing classics like Good Times, Charlie’s Angels, Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, CHIPS . . . . They’re channeling all my favorites!! A few steps further and I’m stopped dead in my tracks! There it is! I’ve always wanted to take a ride on that! It’s the mod colored bus from The Partridge Family! I’m getting ready to have a big gay fit!! Is David Cassidy in there? I can’t breathe! After a few deep breaths, I walk through the front door and see Jillian and Alan being photographed with their beautiful children. Now I had heard of Jillian because she’s famous in the literary and business world, but we’d never met. Since I’m covering the party for my column, I was so fortunate to have a few moments with Jillian and Alan before the party is in full swing. My fantasy continues as I look at the incredible white jeweled gown she’s wearing. I knew immediately it was custom couture. She dreamed and designed this gown and designer Mark Zunino made it a reality. As I look down, I see white Jimmy Choo heels. Perfection.
On a serious note, Jillian told me “This party is a blessing. Blessings manifest through people! ” I love that! During her on-stage appearance, Jillian noted that the guests blessed them so that they could pass it along to the Stanford Cancer Center. She described the center as “the most amazing place where patients are people and they are cared for from their hearts to their heads to their bodies.” This definitely is a huge blessing for many! Jillian also spoke to me about her work to empower women. I could spend all year writing about this amazing woman, so I’m sure you’ll hear more about her in future columns. Jillian’s husband Alan, CEO of VantagePoint Venture Partners, is very handsome in elegant black tie, bone-shaped studs and guy shoes that are every bit as beautiful as Jillian’s Jimmy Choos. When I asked him about this being the 6th annual event, he told me it has become an institution of help! I asked about the party planning, he laughed and said, “I’m married to the Genie!” Jillian and special event master Robert Fountain created this incredible fantasy. Jillian told me, “This flash back to TV favorites was a nod to a time when things were simpler.” She’s absolutely right. Everyone at this party has the look of happiness from another era. Big eyes filled with child-like innocence. Laughter everywhere. As we finish speaking, I begin to wish that these two generous warm souls could be my Fairy Godmother and Father! Unfortunately I left my magic wand in my other handbag! As I continue my journey the surprises keep popping up with TV stars, yummy food and every kind of drink imaginable. Here are some pics so you can see me help Lucy in the chocolate factory from I Love Lucy, square dancing with Grannie and Jed Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies, laughing with Roseanne Rosannadanna and a Conehead from SNL, vamping with Morticia and Gomez from The Adams Family, flirting with Gilligan and Ginger from Gilligan’s Island, flexing muscles with Ponch from CHIPS and kissing Archie Bunker just like Sammy Davis, Jr. did on All in the Family in the 70’s!! What a fabulous night. I don’t want it to end! Unlike Dorothy, I don’t want to click my heels together 3 times and say “There’s no place like home.” I want to stay in TV Land with my new magical Fairy Godparents helping rid the world of cancer! Thanks Alan and Jillian for your generosity and the best party I’ve ever attended!!! Here’s the link if you want to donate [add link]
Happy Valentines Day Gorgeous!