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    Divas & Drinks @ The Academy SF – A Giant(s) Birthday Party, April 25, 2024


    In honor of the birthdays of drag legend and LGBTQ+ philanthropist Donna Sachet and San Francisco Bay Times Co-Publisher/Co-Editor Dr. Betty Sullivan, a “Giant(s) Birthday Party” was held at Divas & Drinks @ The Academy SF on April 25, 2024. The event, which also celebrated the birthday of Out & Equal Founder Selisse Berry, helped launch ticket sales for the San Francisco Giants Pride Day, which this year will take place on June 15 at Oracle Park.


    Giants Pride

    2024 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Giants Pride event, and both Sullivan and Sachet have helped with its success over the years. Sachet was even the first ever drag queen to sing the National Anthem at an MLB game. That happened on September 29, 2009. You can watch that memorable moment here:

    Sullivan, in turn, has been instrumental in promoting the event, bringing groups to attend, providing guidance, and more. That will once again be happening this year. To join the San Francisco Bay Times and “Betty’s List” group at Giants Pride Day, go to

    The 2024 Giants LGBT Pride Day will feature the Angels @ Giants game, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm. It will include pregame performances in Willie Mayes Plaza and a Pride long-sleeve hooded shirt available for the first 20,000 who enter the Park.


    Birthday Honors

    At the Divas & Drinks April event, San Francisco Pride’s Suzanne Ford and Nguyen Pham launched the evening as guest emcees. After introducing DJ Rockaway presented by Olivia Travel, Ford and Pham announced plans for the 2024 Pride Parade and Festival, and explained why and how SF Pride joins with the San Francisco Giants each year during June as the team’s Pride Day signals support for the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ community.

    The evening’s start included a performance, led by drum major Mike Wong, by the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band’s Pep Band. Songs included were “San Francisco,” “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and “Happy Birthday!” Wong’s solo rendition of “San Francisco” drew rounds of applause, and all attending joined in for singalongs.


    Surprise guests for the evening included SF Giants executives Rachel Heit and Iowayna Peña, who presented custom-made jerseys to Sachet and Sullivan. Sachet’s National Anthem historic moment was acknowledged by the presented jersey’s number “1.” The jersey given to Sullivan has the number “25,” which was number she wore as caption of her high school’s basketball team.

    The birthday of Police Commissioner Debra Walker was also acknowledged, along with all attendees who made theirs known. Toasts to the birthdays were also led by the Dykes on Bikes’ Melissa Cherry and Bacardí’s Londyn Inskeep. Supervisor Rafael Mandelman presented Certificates of Honor to Sachet and Sullivan, and also shared words about the Giants Pride Day, and this year’s Pride Parade and Festival.


    First Orphan Andy’s Ice Cream Shoppe Pop Up

    A fun high point of the evening was the ceremonial Arrival of the Ice Cream, provided by Orphan Andy’s founders Bill Pung and Dennis Ziebell. The sweet treats—which included a giant raspberry and walnut cake that they handcrafted—were transported by limo through the Castro courtesy of Regency Limo’s Don Berger. The display was the first ever Orphan Andy’s Ice Cream Shoppe pop up, and San Francisco Bay Times lead photographer Rink has declared Pung to be one of the city’s best bakers.

    Guests enjoyed three flavors of ice cream plus an impressive selection of toppings. All were served by volunteers Juan Davila, Leticia Lopezz, and Susan Berston, who is the producer of the documentary-in-progress The Day the Curtains Came Down, about the last years of Phyllis Lyon and her team of queer caregivers.


    Also in celebration of the birthdays, a raffle and live auction were conducted to benefit Use The News Foundation, fiscal sponsor of educational projects of the San Francisco Bay Times, and Castro Community on Patrol, which was represented at the event by Chief of Patrol Greg Carey.

    Prizes were provided by the San Francisco Giants, Bacardí, Rhoda Goldman Plaza, Nosh’s Dirty Popcorn, NAPA Cellars wines, and more. Sponsors of Divas & Drinks include Olivia Travel, Extreme Pizza, Bacardí, The Academy SF, and the San Francisco Federal Credit Union.

    You are invited to the next Divas & Drinks @ The Academy SF, which will take place on May 31. Another history-making happening—this time, a major first ever for the Castro—is being planned, so stay tuned for more information!

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    Divas & Drinks
    Published on May 9, 2024