Robert York celebrates his 50th birthday on Tuesday, Feb. 20 but instead of a standard cake and birthday card, he decided to bring together the LGBT community and music for a night of charity.
Champions for Charity, York’s 50th birthday party, takes place at Town (2009 8th St., N.W.) on Saturday, Feb. 17 from 5-10 p.m. “America’s Got Talent” contestant Brian Justin Crum, “American Idol” contestant and Broadway star Frenchie Davis, house singer Beth Anne Sacks and Simone Denny, former lead singer of Canadian Eurodance group Love Inc., will give live performances. DJ Grind, DJ Chord and DJ Twin will keep the party going with music all night.
York decided to turn his milestone birthday into a charity event while brainstorming ideas a year and a half ago.
“I really wanted to use my 50th birthday as a catalyst to bring family and friends together but to really highlight a number of charities that I have known, worked with and admired their work. This is my way of saying thank you not only to the community but being able to give back to those charities that need our support,” York says.
York counts all the performers as friends and says everyone was immediately on board.
“I reached out to everybody and said, ‘This is my thought what do you think? and they were like, ‘I’m in.’ There’s not one person that said no,” York says.
In addition to numerous performances, York’s party will give 100 percent of the ticket proceeds to charity. The funds will be split evenly among seven organizations. General admission tickets are $25. VIP tickets are $100 and give guests access to the VIP room and a meet and greet with the artists. Host tickets are $250 and include two VIP tickets, access to the VIP room, a meet and greet with artists and name recognition as host.
As for the charities, they were selected by York because they are either close to his heart or he has worked with them in some capacity in previous years. They include Athlete Ally, Capital Pride, Capital Trans Pride, City Dogs Rescue and City Kitties, NMAC, Trevor Project D.C. and ziMS Foundation.
While York was excited for the event he says he was surprised by how much support he has received.
“I’m kind at a loss for words. I see people posting about it and its awesome to see the support,” York says.
He hopes people will use Champions for Charity to reunite with old friends, help charities and have fun.
York, who is originally from Oklahoma City, Okla., has been in the D.C. area for 24 years now. He is now director of development at NMAC and says it was important for him to give back to the D.C. community.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the community and without a lot of support and leadership from mentors within the community. This is kind of a celebration for all of us,” York says.
For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.