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    San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ 17th Annual Crescendo

    Photos by Drew Altizer Photography

    Following an opening reception, event co-chairs Sally Kay and Vinney Le welcomed guests to the ballroom at the Four Seasons San Francisco for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus’ (SFGMC) 17th Annual benefit Crescendo. Also welcoming guests were Board Chair Dr. Glenn DeSandre; Chris Verdugo, CEO; and Artistic Director/Conductor Jacob Stensberg. 

    Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi delivered opening remarks as the evening’s featured speaker, and received standing ovations honoring her more than 30 years of support for HIV/AIDS advocacy and years of service on behalf of the Bay Area in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Mayor London Breed received the 1st Annual Nancy Pelosi Ally Award, which was presented by State Senator Scott Wiener. Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria received the Visionary Award. Olympian Brian Boitano received the Vanguard Award presented by ABC-7 News anchor Dan Ashley.

    Michael Tate, former president of the SFGMC Board of Directors, led the live auction that featured a list of amazing experiences, including a VIP trip for two to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York. In total, the benefit raised more than $700,000 to support the Chorus.

    The elegant evening also included performances by selected members of SFGMC, a gourmet dinner, and an after-dinner dessert party.

    Attending on behalf of the San Francisco Bay Times were columnists Donna Sachet and movie critic and historian Jan Wahl. Co-publisher Dr. Betty Sullivan and former columnist Howard Steiermann are the founding co-chairs of Crescendo, dating back to their years of service on the Golden Gate Performing Arts Board of Directors.

    SFGMC’s next concert, Ease on Down the Road, featuring hits from Elton John, The Wiz, The Wizard of Oz, and Wicked, will be held on Wednesday, July 19, at Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall.

    Published on May 4, 2023