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Press Release

The 23rd Annual Night of a Thousand Gowns

The Imperial Court of New York to Benefit LIFEbeat and MCCNY Homeless Youth Services

February 17, 2009

Michelle Williams, Lea DeLaria, Christopher Sieber, John DeMarco, Lucas Silveria of The Clicks, Billie Ray Martin and DJ Chip Duckett to entertain

Honorary Chairs: Sir Elton John CBE, Patti LuPone, Joan Rivers, John Cameron Mitchell and Dame Robin Strasser

New York, NY -- The Imperial Court of New York and Emperor XVII Rob Hunter de Woofs & Empress XXII Charlene Chivoe will host the 23rd Annual Night of a Thousand Gowns, an extravagant charity event on Saturday, March 21, 2009 at Time Square's Marriott Marquis Hotel. This year's Charity Ball and Silent Auction will benefit LIFEbeat -- The Music Industry Fights AIDS and MCCNY Homeless Youth Services (Sylvia's Place).

In these most trying times, with many thinking twice about being as generous as they once were, and with government grant budgets being cut, nonprofit agencies are being severely affected. But challenging times need not be joyless times.

Celebrating diversity with humor, heart and humanitarianism, the Imperial Court of New York will once again put the "fun in fundraising." Over 1,000 people will attend the ball from all around the United States and abroad -- among them, some of New York's most fashionable. Because of its special brand of "community service with flair," the event will be a "night to remember."

For over twenty years, NOATG has been unmatched in its extravagance and outrageous glamour and has become the fundraising event of the LGBT social calendar.

The Court members, who morph into majestic personages, in evening gowns or white tie and tails, and royal splendor times-a-thousand, are mostly men -- all dressed up for a good cause! But while drag is the theme, guests may enjoy any gender -- even their own -- at this formal affair.

The main event of the Ball is the midnight coronation of the next Imperial Court Monarchs. The star-studded event will feature Broadway-caliber entertainment, a full-course dinner, Viennese Dessert Buffet, open bar, dancing, and a silent auction.

Over 160 Court members from all walks of life contribute their various talents and expertise to each event they stage. Throughout the year, they offer free performances for shut-ins at AIDS hospices (as part of LIFEbeat's Hearts & Voices program); produce and host fundraising events from club shows, karaoke nights, and drag tag sales, to social events, culminating in the grandest event of all -- the Night of a Thousand Gowns Charity Ball and Silent Auction.

This year's Honorary Chairs include: Sir Elton John CBE, Patti LuPone, Joan Rivers, John Cameron Mitchell and Dame Robin Strasser.

Grammy winner, Michelle Williams headlines the event with her hit dance tune "We Break the Dawn." Broadway's Christopher Seiber, currently starring in "Shrek, the Musical", will perform, as will comic icon and Broadway diva Lea DeLaria. Cabaret star John DeMarco and trans-rocker Lucas Siveria of the Clicks and electro-soul artist Billie Ray Martin will add their song stylings.

The event (at present) is sponsored by: Google, Quest Diagnostics, Absolut Vodka, Coca-Cola, Miller/Coors,, Next Magazine,, OUTimpact and 1-800-Postcards.

For additional information and photos please contact: Stas' Kmiec' 917-699-9276 (

YouTube footage of 2008 NOATG:

2009 Beneficiaries

LIFEbeat -- The Music Industry Fights AIDS

Founded in April 1992 by respected music manager Bob Caviano and record company executive Daniel Glass, LIFEbeat was created to provide the music industry with a unified voice of education and advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Dedicated to reaching America's youth with the message of HIV/AIDS prevention, LIFEbeat raises awareness and funds, and provides support to the AIDS community. LIFEbeat has carved out a unique niche by effectively using the power of music to reach this population.

MCCNY Homeless Youth Services (Sylvia's Place)

Sylvia's Place offers emergency shelter and services to homeless self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and questioning youth -- 16 to 23 years of age in New York City. Its primary focus is to provide a safe space, a good meal, bathroom facilities and toiletries, a cot for the night and breakfast in the morning. The Care Workers provide a listening ear, affirmation, and a friendly voice of encouragement.

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This article was provided by The Imperial Court of New York.
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