Michael Chase isn’t a big runner himself.
“I’m built for endurance, not speed,” he says.
But that hasn’t stopped him from walking the Race to Beat Cancer “many times.”
Chase is concierge supervisor at the Four Seasons in Georgetown where he’s worked for 20 years. Each year the hotel hosts the event with the Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. In 2017, $300,000 was raised from the event. This year’s goal is $400,000.
This year’s race is Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Four Seasons (2800 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.) with three components — adult, college and kids. All three start at 8 a.m. Participants can register online in advance or in person on race day. Full details at racetobeatcancer5k.com.
“We all have a cancer story,” Chase says. “It’s a terrible disease that does not discriminate no matter the race, sexual orientation, age or gender. Cancer has most likely touched all of our lives in some way. … We are all in this together to eradicate this plight and find a cure.”
Chase helps raise money each year for the event soliciting donations from Four Seasons regulars.
“Since I have been here for 20 years, I have a wonderful and very long-term relationship with many of our guests,” the 55-year-old, Ridgefield, N.J., native says. “This is the only time I solicit guests for money. I enjoy making the big ask, usually $10,000 donations at a time. My colleagues and I also call on our local partners to obtain extra donations that can make the day extra special.”
Chase came to Washington 37 years ago to attend American University. He’s in a relationship with Dana Mikelson and lives in Cleveland Park. Chase enjoys travel, sightseeing, theater, baking, biking, movies, scuba diving and more in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Twenty-one years and myself.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
Tracks (past) and JR.’s on Monday evening (present).
Describe your dream wedding.
Black tie with a big band high up in a NYC building with the city as the dramatic back drop. The Rainbow Room would be ideal! On the simpler side, outdoors in the Rockies, under the Maroon Bells and Aspen sky!
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
What historical outcome would you change?
The AIDS epidemic
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Three come to mind: the march on Washington after Trump’s inaugural, attending the Kennedy Center Honors and going to the opening of Parliament in London. Seeing the Queen, her court and all their pomp and circumstance — they know how to throw a show.
On what do you insist?
Integrity and honesty
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
The Four Seasons Race to Beat Cancer 5k and seeing “Hamilton” at the Kennedy Center.
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
“My Lips Are Chapped”
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
I’d stay just as I am.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Nothing. Dead is dead.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Never relent but don’t be rude.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
The health and happiness of my family and friends.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
That all gay men are effeminate.
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
“Rocky Horror Picture Show”
What’s the most overrated social custom?
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
Four Seasons Employee of the Year or a Tony Award. I love to sing.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
I should have followed my own instincts.
It’s a big little town.