OK, so I'm going to try not drip into a cake-out-in-the-rain puddle of tears on this one – though, take a look out your window and you might think about baking (take a look at that photo up there and you might think about baking) – but a dear friend to myself, Orlando, the local HIV/AIDS fundraising community and our LGBT brethren/sistren, John "Tweeka" Barber has taken ill in a rather severe way. Tweeka and I are "cosmically linked" (according to him in a recent Facebook exchange), but we're also more than that. For the 10 years that I helmed the bleary-eyed misadventures of oversharing known as "Blister" at this paper, we "bumped" into each other numerous times, and each and every one of them were a riot. Here he is singing "That's Life" while tossing Frosted Flakes (or something). Here he is teased in a hairpie of a salon fundraiser. Here he is being surprisingly candid to my relative health-emergency hubris. And here he is in the presence of my pied-face. He's a wise, generous, kind soul who can shapeshift from absurd to absurdly honest at the drop of a false eyelash, and I love him. Anyway, Tweeka's been diagnosed with Sinonasal Carcinoma and is currently undergoing the grueling and expensive radiation that that implies. This (T)weekend, his many friends are gathering at Stardust Lounge for a Sunday afternoon frolic for philanthropy, and I will certainly be there, too. Our mutual friend Baby Blue – who was Blistered too many times to link – is throwing the shindig, and has promised that we are not going to cry. Below are the details and a letter from Blue. Good luck, Tweeka. We're all pulling for you.
PLEASE JOIN US JAN 23rd AT STARDUST LOUNGE FROM 3-7pm. SHOWTIME at 5! FOOD, RAFFLES AND SILENT AUCTIONS DONATED BY THE WONDERFUL SUPPORTING BUSINESSES AND ARTISTS IN ORLANDO. PERFORMANCES by some of TWEEKS FAVORITE ENTERTAINERS so you know that will be AWESOME! SHOWTIME @ 5pm SHARP!
A message from Baby Blue:
"Dear Friends and Family....
As we all know our wonderful, loyal and courageous friend John “Tweeka Weed” Barber has recently been diagnosed with Sinonasal Carcinoma Cancer. It is located on the front left temporal lobe of his forehead and his left cheek. He is being treated aggressivel with both chemotherapy and radiation. It will be the toughest battle he will have ever endured and we will be there for him every step of the way.
I have been a friend of “TWEEKS” for 18 years since our days in ATL and he ALWAYS has been a wonderful and self-less human being. I think we can all agree that John/Tweeka has touched all of our lives in some “special” (and you know what I mean when I say “special) way and it is a relationship that we all cherish, love and sometimes can be completely annoyed by. (insert laugh here) He can put a smile on your face faster then anyone I know and would give absolutely anything to anyone....including the outfit you let him borrow a month ago. (I really miss that dress)
John is a gift. His generous support in the community, helping individuals and organizations has inspired me for years . He uses every inch of his talent and persuasion to raise money and he is SUPERB at what he does. I am not sure of the total amount of money that has been raised because of him, but it’s suffice to say that it is probably unsurpassed by most.
I invite you to the First Annual “BARBER FUND” FUNDraiser. What’s this???
We are actively working on establishing a dedicated fund so John can receive donations “and then” as Teeks would say, those donations will be placed into a retainer. In the event that John would not be able to pay rent, electric, phone, car etc... a payout would then be made to that appropriate need.
As consistent with his generous spirit, this fund will not just be established to assist him, but more importantly be used as a resource that will assist in paying bills for other working individuals who might find themselves in crisis in the years to come! Once again, John’s act of selflessness shines through even in this difficult time.The journey is a roller coaster, but what part of his life hasn’t been. It’s John/TWEEKA’s world and we all just live in it. THANK GOD!!!!!!!
CASH AND CHECK DONATIONS ACCEPTED!
If you can’t make event and would like to make a donation contact me firstname.lastname@example.org