Birthday fundraiser 2014
In August of 2014 I had my first birthday fundraiser! It was a bowling event with silent auctions, raffles and unicorns! We raised $1000 and donated it to PROMO. PROMO is Missouri's statewide organization advocating for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality through legislative action, electoral politics, grassroots organizing, and community education.
2015 Thadapalooza was born, and so was Miss Leona Noel! It was a little music festival held at a local music venue, The Backroom Gallery & Codie's Cafe. Performers included Wednesday Patron, Shannon Homan, Mitch Prather, John Paul Drum & Bill Dye, Joey Marlow and was emceed by yours truly, (aka Leona Noel). Once again we raised $1000! That year we donated the money to Kansas City Passages. KC's LGBT youth center for 14- to 20-year-olds, serving the metro for the past 22 years. Their mission is to provide a safe, hate free space.
In 2016 we broke our $1000 goal and raised over $1100! That year we added a BBQ event called Thaddy-Q at a local bar called the Kitty Kat Klub and the main event was again at the Backroom Gallery. Performers included Hot Air Saloon, John Paul Drum & Bill Dye, Joey Marlow and even Leona croaked out a few tunes! We donated the funds to Project Pride. Project Pride is a group of LGBTQ and straight allied teens creating theatre that gives voice to their experiences, culminating in a production that challenges the assumptions and celebrates the diversity of the participants and audience.
This is the year that we grew exponentially! We teamed up with Cindy McClain, the Exchange Event Space, The Courthouse Exchange Restaurant, B-Vogue Salon & Gallery, and the Independence Human Relations Commission! We sold out at 200 tickets! We raised over $3500 for Gay/Straight Alliance Clubs in Independence, MO! Performers included Ryan Emmons, Adriana Nikole, Joey Marlow, Julia Othmer and hosted by LuLu Divine and, of course, Miss Leona Noel! Thank you to Mario who gave a wonderful synopsis of the evening which you can check out here!
Another great year! We raised about $5000! With this money we created Scholarships for the Gay/Straight Alliance clubs as well as support the newly founded West iNd Connection 501(c)(3)! We also made a new connection with the Fort Osage High School, so now Thadapalooza benefits all the High Schools within the city of Independence, MO! Performers included Miss Thadapalooza Grace Files, Adriana Nikole, Crystal Clayton, Joey Marlow, Ivory Blue, Dylonda Grandé, KC Drag royalty Melinda Ryder, LuLu Divine and of course Miss Leona Noel!
The train keeps chuggin along! We raised $7500!!! WOW! Featured performers were LuLu Divine, Starr Attraction, Willa Lee, Kirk Nelson, Melinda Ryder, Lili White, Joey Marlow and the ravishing Leona Noel! Melinda and Kirk treated us to a few rounds of Bingo and we even threw in a Elton John tribute! I hope Adam Lambert doesn't get jealous! Im so very proud of the crew that comes together to make this happen, and eternally grateful for the sponsors and audience that support this cause! Cheers to the future!
2020 was a challenging year for everyone and the Pandemic kept us on our toes! However, we met the challenge head on and was wildly successful! We went virtual with the help of some amazing friends and yet again raised more funds in a single year than ever before! We featured Jaharia Von Du, Michael McQuary, Melinda Ryder! Musical guests were Julia Reynolds, Ivory Blue and Julia Othmer! Let us not forget our house Queens, Starr Attraction and LuLu Divine who brought the house down with some fabulous skits! Starring, of course, yours truly, Leona Noel! We raised over $8500! Thank you to all the sponsors, donators, volunteers and patrons who make this an amazing event that supports the LGBTQ+ Community of Independence, Missouri!