Joshua Minnis and Kimberly McEvers are co-chairs for the third annual Val-O-Ween, the fundraiser that combines the hearts-and-roses holiday with the frightful day of chills. The Feb. 10 event, sponsored by the Millennial League to benefit the AIDS Service Foundation, is at the Beaumont Club in Westport.
Camp decided it was time for the event co-chairs to weigh in on what makes them the perfect hosts for this irreverent and fun event!
1. How long have you been involved with Val-O-Ween and/or the Millennial League? Or for that matter, AIDS Walk?
Joshua Minnis: I’ve volunteered with ASF for years, but only officially joined the ranks with Millennial League a few months ago.
Kimberly McEvers: I’ve been part of Millennial League since April 2010, but have been volunteering for HIV/AIDS efforts since my own prom days in high school.
2. Besides being fabulous volunteer party organizers for Val-O-Ween, do you care to comment on what you do for a living to pay the bills?
J.M.: I fancy myself a freelance marketing consultant and graphic designer, but most of the time I’m a waiter at Chaz on the Plaza at the Raphael Hotel.
K.M.: I’m a researcher for a national reproductive health program at UMKC. My career is focused on making sex less detrimental. I’m a former laboratory scientist who spent seven years working on HIV vaccine development. Proud nerd!
3. How did you come up with the Scary Carrie theme?
J.M.: I can remember seeing Late Night Theatre’s Scary Carrie shows when I was still in college and being inspired as a youth to see adults having so much fun with their work. There are a thousand reasons the idea fit with Val-O-Ween, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty keen on working with Ron Megee.
K.M.: Josh is the mastermind of all things creative, and the theme was his brilliant brainchild.
4. Do you remember your first prom dress, and can you describe it?
J.M.: Boring, black tuxes at every one of them. My mother cherishes the picture of the year I threw a pink boa on to match my date.
K.M.: Minimalist, floor-length black Tadashi dress with cutout back detailing. I’d still rock it today if I knew where it was. Josh thinks tuxes are boring, but I must disagree, because men in tuxes are hot.
5. Will you be dumping a bucket of blood on your friend and fellow Val-O-Ween volunteer Matt Anderson or anyone?
J.M.: Nothing would please me more, but buckets of blood at an HIV-awareness event seemed counterintuitive. That said, Ryan Chambers (Genewa Stanwyck) is handling décor and has some very interesting alternatives.
K.M.: No, but there will be eye candy galore and Beautiful Bodies, DJ Sheppa, Ron Megee, Missy Koonce, Chadwick Brooks, Dirty Dorothy and Genewa Stanwyck will keep you thoroughly entertained.
6. How much money do you hope to raise through Val-O-Ween for the AIDS Service Foundation?
J.M.: We’re budgeted to top ten thousand right now. Shout out to the Beaumont Club and Beautiful Bodies. The Beaumont is all but donating the space and hasn’t asked for a shred of credit. How Kimberly got Beautiful Bodies with our budget, I’ll never know.
K.M.: The sky’s the limit! The needs and numbers of those affected by HIV/AIDS continue to increase while funding gets cut in these tough economic times. Every dollar counts.
7. If you had to choose, what is more important in Val-O-Ween — raising money or raising awareness?
J.M.: Hands down, awareness. Let’s be honest, this is by far the cheapest charity ticket in town!
K.M.: Tough question. Raising money is key because proceeds raised at all Millennial League events support the AIDS Service Foundation, which distributes funds to provide shelter, medical care and emergency services for the more than 5,700 men, women and children in KC affected by HIV/AIDS. Awareness is essential because HIV remains a real and growing threat. Our educational theme this year is “Respect Your Status.” An estimated 25 percent of HIV-infected individuals are unaware of their status. We encourage you to get tested and respect yourself and your status.
8. Besides Val-O-Ween, do you care to comment on what your favorite thing(s) to do on Valentine’s Day might be, and of course that we can print?
J.M.: So, I can’t say Jeremy? I’m a waiter! I wait!
K.M.: My Valentine’s Day necessities are chocolate, bubbly & making out. Peregrine Honig’s annual Fahrenheit Ball is an always enjoyable tradition and great reason to don a fancy outfit with a costume twist.
9. Who’s better in the role of Carrie, Sissy Spacek or Chadwick Brooks? And can you describe why?
J.M.: Chadwick is a real-life queen with an uncanny power to make things happen. Granted, I haven’t seen him kill anybody … yet.
K.M.: Chadwick, without a doubt! You’ll see why on Feb. 10.
10. Why is it absolutely imperative that people clear their social calendars on Feb. 10 from anything but Val-O-Ween?
J.M.: Something like half of all new HIV infections in the U.S. are young people under the age of 25. It’s a terrifying statistic for me as a young gay man. Millennial League is unique in its focus on educating this demographic, and we need help.
K.M.: You’ll have a grand time while supporting a very important local cause.
Val-O-Ween “Scary Carrie Prom” will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight on Feb. 10, 2012, at the Beaumont Club, 4050 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and VIP tickets are $75. For more information, visit www.millennialleaguekc.org.