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    Donna’s Chronicles, “The British Coronation of King Charles III…”

    By Donna Sachet–

    The British Coronation of King Charles III & Queen Camilla will stand as one of the most historic ceremonies in our lives.  No matter where your sympathies lie regarding the Monarchy, Great Britain displayed all the incredible pageantry, traditional ceremony, and elaborate finery we expected, followed by a pop concert the next day that attracted an international audience of its own. Lionel Richie and Katy Perry certainly did us proud and the special technical effects were out of this world. As you’ll see from the nearby photo, we were unable to make the transatlantic trip ourselves, but celebrated here in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral where the British Consul General Joe White hosted a party, attended by many in the diplomatic corps. We were invited by our good friend Tom Horn, who is the Honorary Consul General to Monaco. Although it was a somewhat casual afternoon affair, we joined those sporting hats or fascinators with a bit of plumage and we were happy to see SF Pride’s Board President Nguyen Pham and Executive Director Suzanne Ford there. Long live the King!

    We can only imagine the amount of planning that went into such a public display and we are amazed that it all took place so smoothly. Even the drizzling rain did not hamper the enjoyment of hundreds of thousands watching in person and millions across the globe. Think about some of the local events you’ve attended and then think about the weeks, months, or even years that went into preparing for them. We think back to the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Imperial Court of San Francisco that took place in City Hall in 2015. Planning literally began years in advance, forming a committee, reserving space at City Hall, contacting performers, and more. In the months preceding the event, we secured sponsors, rentals, catering, decor, lighting, audio, and more. Then, in the frantic weeks before, it was all about on-site volunteers, programming timeline, load-in, load-out, and a myriad of other details. That night, over 500 guests experienced a once-in-a-lifetime event … that was over in three or four hours.

    As we near SF Pride month with its deluge of events, we encourage you to think about what goes into making things happen. SF Pride itself is not a profit-making business, but a volunteer Board of Directors with a handful of paid employees who mount a weekend, including the Saturday Civic Center Celebration and the Pride Parade on Sunday, welcoming hordes of visitors and reaffirming San Francisco’s place as LGBTQ+ Mecca. We suggest that you stay involved in the preparation all year long, but especially as these mammoth events draw near. Attend meetings to share your perspective, join committees to participate actively, and share your appreciation with those who pull off SF Pride each year, truly making it your celebration in your city.

    Donna Sachet with (left to right) Gary Virginia and Pride Grand Marshal Nas Mohammed, MD, at the 36th San Francisco Heath Center Show of Hope at the Hyatt Regency Hotel San Francisco, held on April 29.

    This year is Gary Virginia & Donna Sachet’s 25th annual Pride Brunch on Saturday, June 24, 11 am–2 pm, at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square. For 24 years, we have honored the Grand Marshals of the SF Pride Parade and raised money to continue the life-changing work of PRC, all while providing an energy-packed, creative, upscale celebration for the LGBQ+ Community and allies. We have been working hand-in-hand with PRC since the first of the year to ensure that this 25th anniversary will be extraordinary. Sponsors, like Wells Fargo, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, AT&T, J.P. Morgan, Korbel, Seeligman Family Foundation, and this publication, the San Francisco Bay Times, are enthusiastically signing up. The hotel is pulling out all the stops with a delicious 3-course seated luncheon and a spectacular lobby display. Businesses are anxiously donating raffle prizes and live auction items and individual tickets sales are selling briskly.

    Little did we know, when we hosted the very first Pride Brunch at Jeremiah Towers’ Stars restaurant, that this brunch would grow into the well-attended, much-anticipated, official Pride event is has become. SF Pride Parade Grand Marshals over the years have brought the audience to tears, to laughter, and to their feet with applause, including Andy Bell, Sir Ian McKellan, Sharon Gless, Armistead Maupin, James Hormel, Alan Cumming, Bruce Vilanch, Rev. Cecil Williams, Phyllis Lyon & Del Martin, Dot Jones, Ilene Chaiken, José Sarria, Zoe Dunning, and so many more. Elected officials have attended in increasing numbers, demonstrating their support for our LGBTQ+ Community, most notably Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi last year who met admirers, took pictures, ate brunch, and spoke from the podium for several minutes.

    Attendees have supported the cause enthusiastically by bidding on auction items, buying raffle tickets, and donating above and beyond ticket prices. And long before the event itself, individuals have stepped forward to ensure the success of Pride Brunch, many of whom will be recognized this year. And every year, someone shares with us a special memory of reuniting with a friend, meeting an admired Grand Marshal or elected official, celebrating with close friends, attending an event for the first time that they had only heard of, or returning year after year, knowing that Pride Brunch never disappoints.

    Don’t miss this year’s 25th annual Pride Brunch! We are deeply indebted to many who have provided indispensable help along the way and we look forward to seeing you there this year!

    Donna Sachet is a celebrated performer, fundraiser, activist, and philanthropist who has dedicated over two decades to the LGBTQ Community in San Francisco. Contact her at

    Calendar a/la Sachet

    Saturday, May 20
    Spotlight on the ’70s
    SF Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band concert
    Phaedra Tillery-Boughton & Donna Sachet guest stars
    Oakland Asian Cultural Center, 388 Ninth Street
    6:30 pm

    Tuesday, May 23
    Memorial for Heklina
    Hosted by Sister Roma, Peaches Christ, D’Arcy Drollinger, & Nancy French
    Castro Theatre & Castro Street with outdoor telecast
    8 pm

    Thursday, May 25
    Divas & Drinks at The Academy
    Celebrating the Stonewall Generation
    and Honoring Dr. Marcy Adelman
    Monthly party produced by the Bay Times & The Academy
    Emceed by Donna Sachet, Featuring DJ Rockaway
    Bacardí cocktails, Extreme Pizza, Name That Tune
    The Academy SF, 2166 Market Street
    6–10 pm

    Saturday, June 3
    Heels for Hope
    Maitri’s annual gala
    Variety show with Brian Kent, Tory Teasley, Sydney Stigerts, & more
    Marines’ Memorial Theatre, 609 Sutter Street
    5 pm VIP, 7 pm Show
    $52 & up

    Donna’s Chronicles
    Published on May 18, 2023