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    Broadcasting Legend and SF Giants P.A. Announcer Renel Brooks-Moon to Serve as Bal Masque Grand Marshal

    San Francisco’s Krewe de Kinque (KDK) charitable Mardi Gras club is gearing up for “On The Radio,” the theme for Bal Masque XVIII, to be held virtually and in the Castro district on Saturday, March 27, 3–5 pm. Known for its elaborate costumed shows and emergency fund relief, KDK’s year of fundraising for the Q Foundation will culminate with a free online broadcast and limited VIP seating outside of the production stage at The Castro Stitchery and Poesia restaurant (4072 18th Street).

    Kicking off the festivities as Grand Marshal and speaking at the masked ball will be Bay Area native Dr. Renel Brooks-Moon, who is entering her 22nd season as P.A. Announcer for the San Francisco Giants. In accepting the honor, when she will be sashed and lead a Second Line parade, she wrote, “I humbly and enthusiastically accept this tremendous honor! I’m thrilled to be included amongst this most illustrious list of your previous grand marshals—especially my friends Liam Mayclem and Jan Wahl, and the icon, Bruce Vilanch!” (Editor’s note: We are proud that two of the three listed are San Francisco Bay Times columnists!)

    Renel, her widely known, one-word career name, spent 35 years as a local radio and television broadcaster, including stints at 106 KMEL, 98.1 KISS-FM, and CBS-5, among others. She has been recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame as the first woman to public address announce a world championship game in any professional sport, following Game 3 of the 2002 World Series.

    Renel has received numerous awards, including honors from American Women in Radio and Television, Multi-Ethnic Sports Hall of Fame, 100 Black Women, Bay Area Black Journalists Association, and Girls, Inc. In 2008, her Alma Mater, Mills College, presented Renel with an honorary degree in arts literature. In 2018, she received a second honorary doctorate in arts and science from the University of San Francisco. She’s also an Emmy Award winner as host of the television series Forever Giants and is featured on a limited edition 2020 TOPPS baseball card.

    Q Foundation is a nonprofit technology company providing rent payment processing in the social sector. It believes in a world where all people have a safe, decent, and affordable home. Toward that vision, they prevent homelessness by helping people keep the housing they have, provide resources to secure new housing, and promote public policy to expand opportunity for all. Over the past 17 years, it has become one of the leading agencies providing emergency rent assistance. In response to the COVID-19 housing crisis, they provided over $1M in emergency rent assistance in June 2020 alone.

    Krewe de Kinque (KDK) is a social/charitable club that raises awareness and funds in the spirit of Mardi Gras with an emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and emergency needs. Founded in 2004 by Gary Virginia, the all-volunteer organization has raised over $130,000 for 30 causes ranging from HIV/AIDS, breast cancer, LGBTQ asylum, local housing, and hunger programs; to emergency relief for Oakland warehouse fire victims, North Bay fire and flood victims, Hurricane Katrina, earthquake victims abroad, and more.

    Club founder Gary Virginia stated, “In the most challenging of years, we’re proud to help the Q Foundation keep Bay Area residents housed. We promise a captivating online Mardi Gras experience worthy of tips and donations. Grand Marshal Renel’s broadcasting fame is the perfect fit for our ‘On The Radio’ theme and we’re thrilled to honor her just days before the SF Giants season starts!”

    The current KDK King and Queen XVII, Omar Kubian and Diana Wheeler, will preside over festivities including the National Anthem performed live, a traditional Second Line Parade, and the costumed tableaux show of singers, musicians, drag queens, and dancers. The benefit culminates with the crowning of King and Queen XVIII.

    Limited VIP reserved seating at Poesia restaurant’s parklet includes gift bags and waiter service ($20 by text inquire to 415-867-5004). Free online viewing on YouTube and Facebook is accessible @Krewe de Kinque March 27, 3–5 pm, with donations encouraged. A sidewalk sale of gift baskets and Mardi Gras bling will be offered outside for everyone at 4072 18th Street next to the Grand Marshal VIP table.

    More info: Gary Virginia, KDK Founder, MrSFL96@aol.com; Text to 415-867-5004 for tickets and links to donate. Q Foundation: 350 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco CA 94102; 415-552-3242; info@theqfoundation.org

    Published on March 25, 2021