Fundraiser This Week for Irene Soderberg
San Francisco is known, among many things, for its diversity, beauty, and generosity of spirit, especially when it comes to helping those in need within our community. So says Jimmy Strano, producer of two fabulous fundraisers for one fabulous outstanding fundraiser herself. When it comes to fundraising for AIDS, housing, equal rights, and the environment, San Francisco residents have been, and always will be, on the forefront in setting the standard for the rest of the country, if not the world, says Strano. One of these pioneers is Irene Soderberg. She has seen firsthand the toll that AIDS has taken on the queer community. She has seen many friends die, as have many of the LGBT community. She has always been there, using her vocal and comedic talents to raise awareness and monies for the cause. She has sat beside frightened friends dying from a disease yet to be cured. She has sung songs of love to calm their suffering. For years Soderberg struggled as a bartender and performer, giving her all to help out those in need, while barely making her own ends meet. Now it is our turn to say ‚ÄúThank you, Irene‚ÄĚ and help her in her time of need.
Soderberg may have moved away from the Bay Area to pursue her love of music in Southern California, but she has never truly left us. Her heart is still in San Francisco, and she needs our support. She fell ill earlier this year and needs our help to pay rent and huge medical expenses, as she has been unable to keep up with her performance schedule. Let‚Äôs show her we care, and let‚Äôs help one of our own!
‚ÄúI have known Irene for close to 25 years, and I have seen how much she cares for this community. Irene has always loved her ‚Äėboys,‚Äô‚ÄĚ says Strano. ‚ÄúPinned as ‚ÄėMama‚Äôs Songbird‚Äô in Mama‚Äôs Family, she sings about the love of living.‚ÄĚ I Want to Live, Live, Live! is the title of one her several fierce CDs.
She also recorded A Song in My Heart and This Is My Life. She is an inspiration and a living legend, and she has done many, many, many fundraisers, including the recent ‚ÄúCabaret for Humanity‚ÄĚ that Strano directed at the now vanished Empire Plush Room. Soderberg will be selling her CDs for $10 each, shipping included, which is ridiculously low. Please give more. And if people buy more than 10 CDs, the cost will be $9 each. C‚Äômon, that is just absurd. Dig into those wallets and drag out more for this faux drag queen/ chanteuse extraordinaire!
‚ÄúThe fundraisers were created by friends. They said Irene has done so much for the gay community, it was time to do one for me,‚ÄĚ Soderberg tells Bay Times. Soderberg has done over 800 AIDS benefits and helped raise over $5 million to all the organizations across the country over a span of 25 years.
‚ÄúThree months ago, I ended up in intensive care at Cedar Sinai, exhausted and unable to walk,‚ÄĚ Soderberg tells me. ‚ÄúI‚Äôve made my living singing and living my dream for the past 15 years, and I‚Äôve inspired a lot of people to live their dream.‚ÄĚ She adds, ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt been able to work since then.‚ÄĚ Soderberg concludes on a positive note, ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs going to be a fantastic mix of entertainers, singers, drag queens, and me, putting on a show they‚Äôll never forget.‚ÄĚ I will add that this is not to be missed. It‚Äôs a slice of history!
Won‚Äôt you please join Soderberg‚Äôs scores and scores and scores of friends and fans for the second of two very special benefits for her on Friday, May 9th, 5 to 9 p.m., hosted by Gladys Bumps and Jimmy Strano at the all new Metro City Bar, 2124 Market at Church Street Station. If you would like to donate monies or items for raffle / auction, to purchase CDs, or to perform, please contact Producer/ Director Jimmy Strano. PLEASE come out for Irene! She has come out for us countless times!!!