Welcome to Blank-Fest XXIV - 1997-2020.
It's hard to believe we've been at this for 24 years, but here we are. And this year is unlike any other. When I first collected blankets from friends in 1996 - a year before we founded this show - the concept was simple: I and whoever wanted to join me as a volunteer would drive around New York City on Christmas Eve and hand these blanket donations directly to those less fortunate, living (and sleeping) on the streets of our City. Not much has changed since then.........until this year.
Because of concerns regarding Covid-19 we found it necessary to "go virtual" this year, doing our show online. This naturally impacted every facet of our Benefit, from the nature of the performances (going from "live", in a club to virtual - via video clips or streaming live) to suggested donations (going from physical blankets to cash, which we would then purchase blankets with). Even the distribution thereof is different this year, as a result of this pandemic: instead of driving around NYC and handing these blankets directly to the less fortunate, we will be directing all purchased blankets to various shelters around the area.
Yes, this is a year of firsts and I have NO idea of how this is going to go or how much we're going to do, this year. But one thing has always stayed the same no matter what the format and logistics are: there are a lot of great and generous people involved, from those doing tech to those promoting and organizing the show - and obviously the incredibly gifted performers who are generously giving of their time and talent to help those who can't help themselves. And then there's you, the viewer - this year from your home - who we hope will take our message to heart and who we likewise hope will find it in your collective hearts to contribute to our cause. We hope that when we reconvene next December, for what would be Blank-Fest XXV, that we'll be able to do so as we had always done during the first 23 years for this franchise: live, in person, collecting blankets which we would then directly get to those who need them. But, until then, we're hoping this online format will go a long way in keeping the tradition of raising public awareness and providing a little warmth and comfort for our City's homeless, during the Holidays, alive. We always said: "It's about the homeless, nothing more, nothing less". Today, more than ever - Covid be damned - this statement has never been truer.
Regardless of what happens with this show and whatever we collect, we'll always be grateful for your support and contribution. Now, more than ever: thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
Peace, Love, Respect,