Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Ellen DeGeneres invited to join Ride for AIDS
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

There was the incredible buzz and notoriety for the Facebook page to help get Betty White to host Saturday Night Live and, ultimately, the golden girl got the gig.

Then there was the invitation last summer from the Chicago Gay Hockey Association ( CGHA ) to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Stanley Cup, and the cup eventually rode on the CGHA's float in the annual Gay Pride Parade, along with Brent Sopel, a member of the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks who now plays for Montreal.

Ellen DeGeneres is the latest target of a wacky publicity stunt—courtesy of Michael Ross Steffen, 24, the co-owner of B.j. ProMos, an event planning company, who also works as a bartender at Little Jim's Tavern and at Parlour On Clark Street.

Steffen is inviting DeGeneres to join his team this summer in the annual Ride for AIDS, the two-day, 200-mile round-trip ride from Chicago to Lake Geneva, Wis.

"It started as a joke between me and my best friend/co-owner of B.j. ProMos, spawning off of Betty White," Steffen admitted. "But then we started wondering what if it actually happened. ... We got really excited and started bombarding our friends with invites to the [ Facebook ] fan page. We figured, since this was for a charity, we might be able to pull it off.

"We both have bartended in the community for a while and have a lot of contacts. We rely on the people who are close to us to help us as much as possible and to support us with our events and campaigns. Most of them know how big of a deal this charity is for us."

Steffen has sent e-mails to her show, telling what he is doing—and he's going to keep doing it.

"I am going to try the Shawshank method and start doing it once a week in hopes that it will convince them to at least read it all the way through," Steffen said. "The publicity alone, [ just from inviting her, ] would be a great help not only for our [ fund-raising ] team, but for the cause itself. There are still a lot of people who are very ignorant to HIV/AIDS education and the affects it is having on the community."

Why DeGeneres? She is Steffens and his friend's favorite talk-show host.

"I have been a fan ever since the first time I went to Disney's Epcot, where she is a host on the Ride Horizons with Bill Nye The Science Guy," Steffen said. "She seems like, even in reality, she would be such a fun person to be around and we have dreamed about just going out on the town with her and seeing what trouble we would get in."

Steffen said he think there is a good chance she might participate, "if we can make a big stink about it."

That means a lot of Likes.

"I feel, if Ellen herself happens to hear about it, it will be hard for her to resist doing something for us," Steffen said. "Honestly, I'm not sure how I will take it if she says OK. I will probably get so nervous that I stop eating for a week to lose a few pounds and then start training my butt off, so I don't make a fool of myself on national TV."

The annual Ride For AIDS is July 9-10, produced by the Test Positive Aware Network to raise funds for the organization and community partners.

This is Steffen's second Ride for AIDS. Last year's journey was "tough," he said. "I completely forgot to find hills to do some training on and the minute we left flat plains, I was about dead."

Last year, Steffens' team raised more than $5,000 on the ride. This year's team, B.j. ProMos, is aiming to raise $10,000.

"I was in between jobs last year and didn't feel I was able to concentrate as much as I could for the rides, so I'm trying to make it up this year," Steffen said. "My dad is an amazing rider, far better than me. I know, if I tell him I want to be able to finish before him, he will end up just letting me, but essentially that is the goal, not to mention getting my mother to do it with us as well.

"I have been HIV-positive for about three years now. The first people I was able to tell [ about being positive ] were the guy who lived above me who is now a good friend even though at the time we barely knew each other, and my parents. They have always been so supportive of the things I do in life and I can't help but feel like I have let them down in one form or another.

"Doing this ride, riding in general, something that they have been doing all their lives and doing their best to get me to ride and stay healthy, is my attempt to make up for the disappointment that I might have caused them."

To learn more, or Like their cause, go to

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Fitness expo back in Chicago -- with one change 2016-10-19
Delle Donne on All-Star First Team 2016-10-19
BREAST CANCER MONTH Cathy Seabaugh: Offering hope in the fight against breast cancer 2016-10-12
Chicago Sky host #GETPINK game 2016-10-12
LGBT group motivates marathoners in style 2016-10-12
CIAA moves championships out of NC, fallout from anti-LGBTQ HB2 law continues 2016-10-03
Thousands participate in AFC's 15th annual AIDS Run and Walk 2016-10-01
ACC moves championship game to Orlando after NC refuses to repeal HB2 2016-09-29
Sky semifinal tickets sales begin 2016-09-23
Musician/ex-pro athlete Sami Grisafe talks Etheridge, Trump, Clinton 2016-09-21
Sky playoff game on Sept. 25 2016-09-21
Gay college swimmer receives prestigious award 2016-09-20
Cubs announce tentative 2017 regular season schedule 2016-09-14
Diana Nyad makes waves at Union League Club 2016-09-14
Chicago Sky clinch playoff berth 2016-09-14
World: Paralympic athlete, intersex activists, gay Russian candidates 2016-09-13
NCAA moves all championship events out of North Carolina over anti-LGBTQ HB2 law 2016-09-12
Chicago Sky to host #GETPINK Game presented by Weiss Memorial Hospital 2016-09-09
LETTERS Gay Games congratulates Olympic Committee 2016-09-07
Rapinoe makes own anti-anthem move 2016-09-07
Knight at the Movies: Little Men; The Intervention 2016-08-31
Golden girl Elena Delle Donne returns to the Sky, reflects on Rio 2016 2016-08-25
Proud to Run presents checks totaling $50K 2016-08-24
World news: Irish politician, trans murder, sports items 2016-08-23
Reflecting on Rio: The good, the bad and the ugly 2016-08-22
Gay Games congratulates International Olympic Committee on success, inclusivity 2016-08-22
Meet lesbian sports icon Diana Nyad 2016-08-19
'Olympic Gear Party' fundraiser Aug. 20 2016-08-10
Second City Tennis Classic Aug. 12-14 2016-08-10
World: Olympics items, gay juvenile executed, lesbian Serbian official 2016-08-09
Chicago Sky star Elena Delle Donne gets engaged to a woman, opens up on their relationship 2016-08-03
Court: Title VII does not cover orientation bias 2016-08-03
FGG announces 2016 Legacy Awards 2016-08-03
National: More trans deaths, Biden's same-sex marriage, $1M donation to Hillary 2016-08-02
The battle for gold in Rio meets other Olympic issues 2016-08-01
Federation of Gay Games sets Legacy Awards 2016-07-27
Event marks 10th anniversary of Gay Games in Chicago 2016-07-27
NBA moves all-star game out of North Carolina in response to anti-LGBTQ law 2016-07-21
'Out at the Sox' topped with Sox win 2016-07-13
Ride for AIDS culminates with emotional festival 2016-07-13

Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.









About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by