Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Drag To The Next Level—Harvey House Benefit

The first youth drop-in center for LGBTQ+ individuals in the Toledo area, the Harvey House is established as a place where young people can find non-judgmental support and safety. As part of Pride month in June, a special event designed to raise money for the House, as well as to inspire attendees, a “Drag Show for Harvey House”, will take place at Legends Showclub on Erie Street. Saturday, June 23 beginning at 7 pm. Entry fee of $3 per person will be donated to Harvey House along with any raffle proceeds from a raffle and all tips.

Taking the lead

The event is the brainchild of De Coats-Lewis, co-owner of Next Level Entertainment, and is the first charity event that Next Level has directed and planned. “We’ve co-hosted with other charities—biker memorial rides, military retirement parties, things like that. But with this (event), we have a lot more input, and we’re taking the lead on this,” Coats-Lewis said.

De became aware of Harvey House through notices posted in the LGBTQ+ Facebook community since its opening in early 2017.

Determined to help out, she contacted area drag performer Justyce Sinclaire, a regular performer at Legends. “And I said, ‘If the opportunity ever arises, and you guys would like to (team up on a fundraiser), hit us up,’” Coats-Lewis said. “And she said, ‘Well, that’s funny, because I wanted to approach you about helping me.’ And it kind of snowballed from there.”

Justyce Sinclaire, a regular performer at Legends, worked with Next Level Entertainment to help organize this fundraiser.
Justyce Sinclaire, a regular performer at Legends, worked with Next Level Entertainment to help organize this fundraiser.

For a critical cause

In addition to drag performances by veteran area performers, the event will feature three amateurs—Ray, Jeremy and Jimmie of the Next Level staff—dressed in drag, ready to be “coached” in a full dance routine. De explains that the three hardly needed any persuasion to participate, and have purchased second-hand heels to rehearse.

“From hair to heels and everything in between, they’re going to do it. Because I want them to represent not just Next Level but also to represent the drag community. We’re not going to do this half-assed.”

In the end, Coats-Lewis would like to see attendees have a fun night of entertainment, raising money for a critical cause, while spotlighting a growing local business. “I hope that (those who attend) see that supporting local businesses and organizations supports our local community. Because we want to give it back and pay it forward.”

The Drag Show for Harvey House | Saturday, June 23 | 7 pm
Legends Showclub | 117 N Erie St

Tickets are $3.
For more information, visit: nextleveltoledo.com

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