“People have been asking, ‘Where are all the pool parties?’ But this year has been more grassroots, with the debs using Facebook and Twitter,” he says. “This group has all been full of different ideas.”
The money raised goes to AID Atlanta, the largest AIDS service organization in the Southeast. And the grassroots effort apparently is also paying off in making the competition for the crown stiffer, he says.
“Anyone can still take it,” Brown says.
“In the past at about this time, we could look and see there was someone who was clearly going to win. But it’s all neck-and-neck and should make for a great ending and turnout.”
The annual Cotillion Cabaret and silent auction on Aug. 15 was successful, raising a record $28,000, Brown says.
“When I was a deb [in 2005], I knew this was something I wanted to continue to be a part of,” Brown says. “It’s a fun and unique event and a way to give back and do something really worthwhile.”
Founded in 1997, Atlanta Cotillion has raised more than $650,000 for AID Atlanta, Brown says. Last year, the event raised $115,000 with only $36,000 in expenses.
For its ninth annual Cotillion, the committee has selected the theme, “Celebrating the Fan Fair,” to honor all the debs and volunteers in the past who have contributed throughout the years.
There are rules to follow for the Cotillion: those, male or female, who want to wear tuxedoes pay $150 to attend, while those joining in female attire pay $75 for their tickets. Because this is not a drag show, the ball requires those who choose to attend in “formal female attire” to take their dress code seriously — no campy beards and make-up allowed.
Brown urges people to buy tickets by Sept. 15 so the money from that ticket will go toward the deb of their choosing.
Top photo: Michael Lammons, a.k.a. Lady Michel’le VonSeco, was crowned 2009 Cotillion queen after raising $18,000 for AID Atlanta. (courtesy AID Atlanta)