RuPaul and the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judges raised more than $250,000 for Extraordinary Families on Thursday night at an event in Hancock Park.
Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews, Carson Kressley and Jeffrey Bower Chapman co-hosted the celebration for the adoption and foster agency that works with LGBTQ+ parents and kids.
World of Wonder co-founder, Drag Race producer and co-host for the night Fenton Bailey announced $250,00 and counting had been donated.
Extraordinary Families CEO Barnaby Murff thanked Bailey, who is also on the organization’s board and has two adopted children with his filmmaker husband Billy Luther.
Murff noted that L.A County has the biggest child welfare system in the country with over 20,000 kids not in their original homes: “Support like this makes it possible for them to be safe and loved.”
Founded over 30 years ago, the organization seeks to recruit families and care for kids. Murff said, “There were a lot of people in the community in the LGBTQ community who wanted families that weren’t being given the opportunity. So from the very beginning, we’ve been partnered in this effort to create families.”
She said the night was an important culmination of a seed planted over three decades ago.
Fellow board member Visage took a moment to address the crowd and champion the organization’s cause. She mentioned that she too had been in a foster home and adopted. “These kids deserve the love and the homes, and I don’t know where I’d be if I wasn’t adopted into the family that I was adopted.” She added, “LGBTQ+ families who want to adopt are often discriminated against and it’s gross that we’re still fighting this fight going into 2023.”
In true Visage fashion, she directed guests to the silent auction and quipped that while there were opportunities for lunch with Mathews and Cressley, she had been left off. At the suggestion of another guest, Visage offered a lunch date that escalated into a lively bidding war.
Hairstylist Chaz Dean got bidding up to $6,500 against another bidder. “How about two dates for $6000 each?” Dean challenged Visage as the stakes got higher. “Two dates? Done. Sold,” Visage said accepting the offer, raising a further $12,000.
RuPaul presented a cake baked by Bailey’s oldest son to celebrate Visage and “Drag Race” producer Randy Barbato’s birthdays.