While most Chicagoans focused on the Cubs vs. Dodgers fifth ( and World Series-clinching ) game, Howard Brown Health held its second annual Halloween spooktravagant event, The Big Orange Ball, at West Loop restaurant and event space Carnivale on Oct. 22.
Guests arrived in their most eye-catching attire ready to celebrate Halloween, a favorite LGBTQ holiday. Carnivale's main event space was transformed into a ghoulish ballroom, with smaller spaces for tricks and treats. One such room was the Kink Room, complete with a St. Andrew's cross. Board Member and Mr. Chicago Leather 2014 Miguel Torres offered demonstrations, and provided floggings for a small donation. Torres was joined by the reigning Mr. Chicago Leather, Todd Harris.
The evening was kicked off with a special performance courtesy of Rebirth Garments. Designed and made by hand by Sky Cubacub, Rebirth Garments are gender non-conforming wearables and accessories for people on the full spectrum of gender, size and ability. This was followed by plenty of dancing to the spooktacular sounds of DJ Larissa and DJ Megan Taylor.
Before the main event, an announcement was made that caused the entire ballroom to cheer and roar at the top of its lungs"CUBS WIN, CUBS WIN!!! The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series!"
The main event of the evening was a performance by Bob The Drag Queen, the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race's eighth season. The day before the ball, Bob stopped by the Broadway Youth Center to take a tour of the facilities and for a private meeting with the youth and peer advocates. The energy of the meeting was said to be phenomenal and truly inspiring.
Funds raised during the gala will support Howard Brown's medical care and community initiatives for adults and youth.
Founded in 1974, Howard Brown serves more than 20,000 adults and youth each year in its health and social service delivery system focused around four major programmatic divisions: clinical care, research, education and advocacy.
To learn more, visit HowardBrown.org .