The Pennsylvania-based Bucks Motorcycle Club’s 41st annual Leather fundraiser Santa Saturday®, its registered trademarked name belonging exclusively to the Bucks, took place on November 29 at the Paradise nightclub in the Empress hotel, at the ocean in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Last year’s Santa Saturday® raised $19,600 for NJ and PA charities and Bucks Treasurer Theodore (Teyd) Jamison estimated that this year’s event brought in a similar dollar amount.
The Bucks’ John Ramos-Rivera (JR), Mr. New Jersey Leather 2001—the first—welcomed us to this Santa Saturday®, the sixth held at Paradise, while previous ones were in New Hope PA, and introduced Bucks Honorary Member Gary Christ, who tirelessly performed at every Santa Saturday® from the first until last year’s, often as Liza Minnelli, but was now seeing it from out front for the first time ever. JR and Bucks President Dan Caccia presented an award to Bucks Member Emeritus Thomas Fitzgerald and JR also gave one to the Empress and Paradise for their consistent support of Santa Saturday®. Santa Saturday® veteran Maxine Chambers awarded a certificate of excellence, on behalf of the “Santa Sissies,” entertainers at the event, to official photographer Mike Prestia.
The centerpiece of Santa Saturday® was a lively auction, conducted by barker extraordinaire Jo Arnone, who also led the assembled in singing, a cappella, “Jingle Bells” and, with JR, “White Christmas.” Among the items auctioned off were artworks, including a signed George White print of a nude woman and Joe Canto’s painting of a clothed man and his nude reflection in water in the woods; a blue tooth speaker, two Schwinn boardwalk bicycles, and a Southern Comfort cooler, donated by Paradise; a two-night stay at the Empress; registration packages for Mid-Atlantic Leather (MAL) weekend in Washington, D.C. in January, donated by the Centaurs MC; restaurant gift certificates; a gift basket of copper mugs, vodka, and ginger beer, donated by the Long Island Ravens’ Joe Aponte; a Southern Comfort dartboard and darts; and denim jackets with removable leather sleeves, modeled by Ms. NJ Leather 2010 Morgaine (red sleeves) and boy john (yellow sleeves). The highlight of the auction was bidding on clothing worn by Mr. NJ Leather 2015 Thomas Fincannon, with the privilege of taking the items off him. The first was a pair of black leather pants, bought by the writer for $100, and among the last was Thomas’ jockstrap, bought by Mr. Fire Island Leather couple Joe Saporito and this writer for $50. JR and Ms. NJ Leather 2015 Sandra assisted with this part of the auction.
Paradise’s Lady Marisa was Mistress of Ceremonies for the entertainment during Santa Saturday®, which began with her and Sasha James doing “It’s Raining … Enough Is Enough,” assisted by DJ Christian. Marisa’s other numbers included “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and the Wendy Ho version of “Get Here,” as “Fuck Me.” Sasha also contributed “Let It Go,” from “Frozen.” Maxine dedicated “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” country-style, to Mike Prestia, and performed a number in memory of those we’ve lost. There were also performances by reigning Miss Paradise and Miss Gay NJ Lea Sky, former Miss Gay NJ Victoria Cortez, Karma Lohan, and Candi Cane (“Starships” and “Friends”).
Singers who performed at Santa Saturday® were Teyd (“On a Clear Day” and “Nothing Can Stop Me Now”), Darren DiFilippo (“Oh, Baby, Baby,” with backup dancer, “Oops I Did It Again” and, as a sing-along, “Mamma Mia”), DeLon (“Miss Celie’s Blues,” from the film “The Color Purple,” in head tone), and yours truly (“L-O-V-E” and “I’m Still Here”).