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Winter Party Festival Shopping Spree
Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fl
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
February 27, 2009
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Kiehl’s kicked it! Or rather—Kiehl’s Since 1851 kicked it! The chic Lincoln Road boutique was a madhouse of emollient-crazed party boyz, boogieing down in the aisles—and hell, atop the tables—gargling Grey Goose vodka and lathering lotion in all the right places, all while ringing up sales for the benefit of the Task Force (and thereby, the betterment of our flawless-skinned LGBT community). Winter Party Chair and Kiehl’s bigwig Chad Richter, and his comely biz partner, Todd, hosted the hot and steamy affair, with a gaggle of stunning Winter Party volunteers. Seriously, have you taken a gander at these gorgeous lads and lassies? Do they emerge from the ocean looking like that?

Meanwhile, down the block at Lincoln Road’s latest art installation-cum-emporium, aka the new Diesel store, the mayhem there was akin to a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, albeit with a bevy of male models showcasing their wares—or, rather the sizzling swimwear from the Italian fashion house. The former site of Book & Books, this new Diesel store has retained the latent libidinous charms of a college library, complete with close encounters between the stacks—and the store was mobbed with boys slipping into those famously seductive jeans and tees. Cocktails from Grey Goose served as a perfect lubricant, while DJ Sean Rhodes played a set designed to remind the boys that shopping is good for the soul—and for the coffers of the Task Force and the Winter Party Festival. By night’s end, Diesel manager Brett Chinick delightedly shared that over a hundred pieces of merch were sold, with a full 20% of the proceeds donated to the Winter Party Festival—and a personal guarantee that every purchaser would get lucky before the weekend was over.

The euphoria spilled out onto the Lincoln Road mall as well as over at Halo’s Winter Party Happy Hour where onlookers from the hinterlands had to wonder, Why are these people so happy? Well, as Rea Carey, Executive Director of the Task Force reminded us at the Media Reception at the Van Dyke, it’s been a helluva year—upbeat and down—and yet, there’s promise in the days ahead. This from a woman who’d just been with the Obamas at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—so she knows—and the boys inside Kiehl’s took her at her word, ringing up better than $10,000 worth of merch—20% of which goes directly to Winter Party Festival. For if there’s one thing we’ve learned this year, our LGBT community supports those who support us; we love our allies! And besides, as Ms. Carey (no relation to Mariah, not that we know…) also reminded us, even when the going gets tough, no one knows fun like our LGBT community. It’s Winter Party 2009; let’s have FUN!)

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