Light Health & Wellness `Limelight Gala'

November 18, 2007

Flash back to the '70s, with emphasis on the flash. That's one way of describing the "Limelight Gala" at The Hippo. Several hundred guests crammed the nightclub to see four "disco divas" strut their stuff and belt out their hits from that era - all to raise money for Light Health & Wellness, a nonprofit that helps Baltimore youth and families who are affected by HIV/AIDS. The cause is particularly near and dear to one of those "divas," Debbie Jacobs-Rock, the organization's executive director.

"She is absolutely amazing. She founded this charity almost 20 years ago," said party chair Kevin Bareham, looking totally diva-ish himself, glammed out in complete evening drag.

"In the late '70's, early '80s, all of us had disco hits ... and we worked the disco club circuit all across the United States. It was just like one big happy family," said Rock.

And the event was a family reunion, with her fellow singers and renowned club disc jockey, DJ Abel, coming from California, New York, Chicago and Miami.

"We've known her for years and years and years," said "diva" Martha Wash, who sang her hit "It's Raining Men."

"We would all just go to the ends of the Earth for Debbie," said fellow "diva" Linda Clifford.

"I said [to her], `All you have to do is call me and let me know.' So, I'm here," added colleague Jeanie Tracy.

Each of the four women performed a couple of their hits before grouping onstage to rock the place. Among those dancing until the wee hours - honorary chairs Marty and Sharon Bass.

Jay Day, co-chair with Hippo owner Chuck Bowers, came decked out in a pink fedora and feather boa, as did his friend, Adam Taylor. Day's take on the night?

"It's a great cause. It's a great charity. And it's a whole lot of fun."

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