The Pennsylvania-based Bucks Motorcycle Club’s 42nd annual Santa Saturday® took place at the Paradise Nightclub at the Empress Hotel, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean and the beach, in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on November 28 and, attended by hundreds of members of the Leather community—gay, lesbian, hetero, and trans, and including many, many bears—raised thousands of dollars for Bucks County PA and Monmouth County NJ charities.
According to Bucks Vice-President and first Mr. NJ Leather (2001) John Ramos, the Bucks have raised approximately $600,000 for PA and NJ charities, including F.A.C.T. (Fighting AIDS Continuously Together) Bucks County, the Center in Asbury Park, Inc., and Monmouth County VNA (Visiting Nurse Association) Health Group Project R.E.A.L. (Real Empowerment on All Levels), at the Santa Saturdays®. According to Bucks Treasurer Teyd Jamison, the total raised at Santa Saturday® 2014 was close to $20,000 and he estimated that this year’s total was about the same.
The main events of Santa Saturday® are an auction of leather clothing and accoutrements, artwork, and leather event packages, and entertainment offered by local and visiting performers.
John conducted the auction, substituting for “million dollar auctioneer” Jo Arnone, who was kept away by a family emergency. The highlight, as always, was the bidding on items of clothing worn by the current Mr. New Jersey Leather, in this case handsome Mr. NJ Leather 2016 Tigger, from motorcycle jacket down to cock ring, as well as the privilege of taking them off him. Top dollar items were his jockstrap, donated by CLAW (Cleveland Leather Annual Weekend) and bringing in $200, and cock ring, going for $400, both bought by Mr. Woods Campground Leather 2016 Chuck Widdoes. Entertainer Maxine Chambers also auctioned off the jockstrap that John wore under his kilt.
Former Miss Paradise Lady Marisa coordinated the entertainment. Drag entertainers contributing their services were reigning Miss Paradise Victoria Famouz (“Timebomb” and “Flashlight”); Dusty Relix (Santa Saturday® debut—“Up on the House Top” and “It Must Have Been the Mistletoe”); Nancy Mandel (“Valerie”); Candy Cane (“Santa, Can You Hear Me?,” “White Christmas,” and “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay”); Sasha Mess (Santa Saturday® debut—Hawaiian carol “Mele Kalikimaka”); and Maxine, dedicating a slow, country “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to Santa Saturday® official photographer Mike Prestia.
The afternoon’s singers were Teyd (“Zing Went the Strings of My Heart” and “Trolley Song,” a Judy Garland pairing, and “Just in Time”); Ms. NJ Leather 2016 Christy Lee (“Santa Baby”); Darren DiFilippo (“Hopelessly Devoted to You” and, from “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” “Hard Candy Christmas”); Demonde (“This Christmas” and “Lay Me Down”); and this writer (“The Rose” and “Unchained Melody”). John treated us to an impromptu a cappella “On a Wonderful Day like Today,” from “The Roar of the Greasepaint—the Smell of the Crowd,” between auction items.
Also featured were a Leather boutique; drinks and hotdogs poolside; a 50-50 raffle, in which the winner won $575; and the opportunity to have a photo taken with Leather Bear Santa Ron Smith.