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Atlanta Cotillion’s ‘Cirque de Nuit’ brings big changes to drag fundraising tradition

Atlanta Cotillion

Now in its 12th year, Atlanta Cotillion is turning its old fundraising format on its crown.

The group has ditched the drag debutantes, tiaras and season-ending black-tie ball in favor of year-round team fundraising and a more inclusive annual bash to raise money for its longtime beneficiary, AID Atlanta.

In January 2013, event chair Darrell Burke, former chair John McGuirk and several past debs decided on an all-new format that kicks off with the group's "Cirque de Nuit," an avant-garde ball June 8 in the Historic Hangar of the Delta Heritage Museum.

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Atlanta Cotillion prepares to crown new queen

Atlanta Cotillion

AID Atlanta celebrates “11 years of royalty” with the annual Atlanta Cotillion on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. at The Foundry at Puritan Mill in Atlanta.

“The cotillion is a fundraising event based off of a traditional Southern cotillion,” says Steven Igarashi, Gay Men’s Health & Wellness Coordinator at AID Atlanta. “Each year, there is a class of debutantes that is made up of men from the LGBT community. They volunteer to serve as a debutante and create a persona, which is their drag character. They spend cotillion season raising money for AID Atlanta.”

As with a traditional cotillion, these debutantes will be presented at the ball by their escorts to celebrate their fundraising success. The evening culminates with the crowning of the Queen of the Atlanta Cotillion Ball, the debutante who raised the most for AID Atlanta.

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Cotillion concludes

Annual event benefits HIV/AIDS organization AID Atlanta crowns new Queen tonight