Triangle of Hope (TOH) hosts its 15th-anniversary “Ex-drag-a-ganza” show on November 7, 5 PM, at the Town House bar in St. Paul. Featuring a cavalcade of performers, it’s a fundraiser for Clare Housing.
The late Gary Hinze founded TOH in November 1995 to raise money for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Over the past 15 years, it has put on myriad events, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to local groups.
TOH is an all-volunteer, grassroots organization. It has no overhead or administrative costs. So, 100 percent of what it raises during benefits goes directly to the local HIV/AIDS community.
Longtime TOH Show Director Mary Brewster says, “Triangle of Hope volunteers do this purely for the enjoyment of performing, and for the betterment of themselves and of the community. How many other organizations can say that?”
Organizations that Triangle of Hope has benefited over the years include Agape Dos, Agape House, AIDS Care Partners, The Aliveness Project, Camp Heartland, Clare Housing, District 202, Grace House, Hope House, Park House, Minnesota AIDS Project, Minnesota AIDS Walk, Minnesota Men of Color, and Top Shelf.
Members of TOH have helped support Animal Ark, the Minnesota Vixen football team, the Paul Bunyan Invitational Bowling Tournament, the St. Paul Goodtime Bowling League, and the Town House Arrest softball team. In addition, TOH members have held a number of fundraisers to assist individuals in need at difficult times in their lives, such as Ti-Néa.
Brewster shares, “It’s rare that I am ever at a loss for what to say, but while reflecting over the past decade-and-a-half, I am having a difficult time coming up with the words to describe what this ‘event’ means to me. You’ve watched firsthand this once shy and timid—and skinny!— ‘girl’ morph into a ‘large and in-charge’ Show Director who has had the extreme pleasure of bringing these shows to the stage, and making a few dollars for organizations like Clare Housing along the way.”