The Bucks Motorcycle Club’s 37th annual Santa Saturday® charity fundraiser, the extremely popular leather and bear event, for which the Bucks own exclusively the registered trademark name, and which originated in New Hope, Pennsylvania, took place on November 27, the Saturday of Thanksgiving Weekend, at the Paradise, which contributed the space where Santa Saturday® was held, in the Empress Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the third consecutive year that Santa Saturday® had been situated there. Billed as ‘the oldest and largest East Coast leather charity event,’ Santa Saturday®, sanctioned by the Atlantic Motorcycle Coordinating Council, raised funds this year for Check-Mate, Inc. of Monmouth County, the Center of Asbury Park, the Visiting Nurse Service Association of Central Jersey, and the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging. That evening, at “Savage,” the official Santa Saturday® after party at the Paradise, which was co-produced by Joe Fiore and Paradise and featured music by DJ Jack Reina, Bucks MC President John Rivera-Ramos (JR) informed Q News that 1,039 people had paid the $15 donation for admission to Santa Saturday® that afternoon.
A lively auction of donated items, with JR as MC, Jo Arnone, tireless ‘auctioneer extraordinaire,’ as barker, and Jo Ann and Ms. New Jersey Leather 2010 Morgaine assisting; entertainment by performers associated with the Bucks and the Paradise, and calling themselves the ‘Santa Sissies,’ with the ‘Queen of New Hope,’ Pumpkin, as MC; service awards for worthy individuals; photos with the Bucks’ bear Santa Claus, Ron Smith; a leather shop, run by Philadelphia’s Passional Boutique; a 50-50 raffle; and refreshments and drinks were all elements of Santa Saturday®.
Auction items included gift certificates for dinners; framed photographs, lithographs, and paintings, such as a print of a fierce rabbit with an eye patch, entitled “Bad to the Bun,” which Jo herself bid on and won; clothing, including a California Highway Patrol blue leather uniform shirt, which Philadelphia Leather Pride Night co-producer Cowboi Jen netted; CDs; a mountain bike, donated by the Paradise; a Leather Pride flag stained-glass plate; and a handmade afghan in the colors of the Bear Pride flag, for which this writer entered the highest bid. As Jo put it, when auctioning off a gift pack of adult trivia games, “Where else can you buy a pornographic video game and write it off on your taxes?” The climax of the auction was the highly competitive bidding on items of clothing, modeled by Mr. New Jersey Leather 2011 Robert Vitale, known as ‘Scrumptious Scruffy,’ with the privilege of stripping them off his body, from his Provincetown baseball cap, wristband, and cleats down to his white spandex biker shorts, garnering $200 for the Bucks’ chosen charities; his jockstrap, which went for $125; and his cock ring, for $200, the last two items removed backstage under the watchful eye of Robert’s Daddy, Mr. Connecticut Leather Tim. Before the jock was removed, appreciative audience members had the opportunity to stuff it with cash, which raised an additional $197 for charity.
Kicking off the entertainment were 37-year Santa Saturday® veteran Gary Christ and Sasha James doing “Bosom Buddies,” from “Mame,” and Maxine as Cher and Pumpkin as Rosie O’Donnell offering a contemporary Christmas carol. Bucks Treasurer Teyd Jamison sang a swinging “Once in a Lifetime,” earnest “I Gotta Be Me,” and romantic pairing of “Almost like Being in Love” and “This Can’t Be Love,” and JR sang, a cappella, “More (than the greatest love),” dedicated to Ernie, his partner of 37 years. Lady Marisa, of Paradise, dressed in seasonal red, green and silver to do “The Christmas Song” (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire”). Classically-trained dancer Marshall Roberts impressed us with a hot number he performed barefoot and sporting a full-body bottom harness, and with his “Stepping out with My Baby,” for which spats and cane completed his dapper attire. Pumpkin tickled us with Dolly Parton’s “PMS Blues” and Gary touched us with torch song “Fifty Percent,” from “Ballroom,” and led the company in the show’s grand finale, the title song from “Applause,” the musical based on “All about Eve.”
Bucks Road Captain Nikk Kriss presented an award from the club to Ron, the Santa Saturday® Santa; JR presented awards to the Promethean Guard, the Empress and Paradise’s C.J. Gascoyne, the event’s Elf, Chris Bogs, and Bucks Webmaster Peter Giorno; and Maxine presented a special Santa Sissies’ award to Santa Saturday® official photographer, Michael Prestia.