Tom (Tomcat) Pence; Founder and President of A Celebration Of Friends, Inc.
A Celebration of Friends, Inc was founded by Tom (Tomcat) Pence, a former U.S. Marine, who realized early on that "Maturity Matters" in the youth-oriented gay world and that there should be a time and a place for it to be celebrated. Operating on a tight budget, the first Celebration was held in 2002 in New Orleans, LA where 100 men met, celebrated and enjoyed a wonderful weekend while raising $1,000 for "Buzzy's Boys" a non-profit organization benefiting Hospitalized children suffering with the HIV virus. The next year, ACOF moved to Fort Lauderdale and (except for a one time excursion to Miami Beach) has met there every year since. In October 2011, the ACOF and Tomcat was acknowledged by Tuesday's Angels for giving over $100,000 to Fort Lauderdale area charities. Over the past 10 years more than 5,000 men have participated in these annual Family reunions and over $154,000 in charitable donations has been raised. After the passing of his partner, Bill "The Colonel" Elder, Tomcat moved to Fort Lauderdale, where he is hard at work planning the next Celebration and putting together his pet project “A Habitat of Friends, Inc” a low-cost gay retirement community for retired men on a fixed income. Tomcat’s spirit and dedication have kept the Celebration’s credo "Keeping the Family Together" burning bright and endorsed the spirit that “We’re all in this together!!! . . and together, we Can Make A Difference!!!”. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alain Lecusay, Vice-President ACOF/AHOF
Born in Cuba, Alain came to this country when he was ten years old.
Upon graduation from high school, Alain enlisted in the Marine Corps to travel the world. And travel he did, spending the next twenty-five years visiting the Pacific Rim, Kenya, Jordan, Somalia, China and Australia before retiring as a Master Sergeant.
Alain is currently working for one of Florida’s local City Police Departments in the data entry field. He believes in the ACOF and the need for the A Celebration of Friends so deeply, he gladly volunteered to be be on the Board and is one of its hardest working members.
Please do not mistake his shyness for insecurity, at the last Celebration this five foot five, former marine single-handily escorted a six foot, three hundred pound party crasher off-property. Alan would love to hear from you! email@example.com
Sponsor - Tony Dee, Senior Host of Tropics Restaurant and Piano Bar
The ACOF is proud and honored to have Tony Dee of Tropics Restaurant and Piano Bar as our sponsor. This business man has long been credited with putting the “gay” in Wilton Manors and then Wilton Manors on the map when he and his business partner opened up Chardees in 1990
Tony Dee is revered by the older Celebration attendees for making Chardees the place to go in Fort Lauderdale. In 1995, Tony sold Chardees to the late Don Hazlett who kept it going another ten years, until it was sold again and closed soon after.
Now, our hero is back and creating another revered place of worship in Fort Lauderdale, Tropics Restaurant & Piano Bar.
To enjoy Tropics during the Celebration:
- Take a courtesy bus ride from our host hotel to the New Tropics. Go and check out the changes already made at Tropics.
- Enjoy the 2 for 1 drink specials all weekend by wearing your name tag and wrist band.
- But remember, if you want to enjoy the fine cuisine at Tropics, RESERVATIONS ARE HIGHLY RECOMMEND! (954-537-6000).
- And if you see Tony buzzing about the restaurant, let him know what you think about the “new” Tropics Restaurant and Piano Bar.
David has been an attorney for over 10 years and in that time represented people, associations, banks, businesses and insurance companies in a variety of ways. Since moving to Florida 5 years ago, he has mostly represented individuals in their estate and other personal issues. At the last Celebration, David conducted a seminar on "The Importance Of Having An Updated Will"; an overview of how important it is to take care of those hard decisions so that no one else will be making them for you. David will be conducting a similar seminar this year with a continued focus on planning and an additional aspect on separating your wealth from your will. Please join him in discussing what could be the best information you can get for free about the decisions you need to make for your future. David: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Alves is a Brazilian writer, film director, and producer. He was granted political asylum in the United States in 1998 with the help of the Immigrants and Refugee Rights Clinic at New York University's School of Law. Shortly thereafter, he attended Columbia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science. After graduating, Alves worked as an assistant to then-New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY).
In 2007, Flavio returned to school to study film production at New York University, where he received the Technisphere Award for Outstanding Achievement. Since then, he has directed and produced more than 20 films. His most recent completed project, The Secret Friend, premiered at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival and has entered more than 90 film festivals around the world. Flavio is currently working in post-production on his upcoming film, 'Tom in America', featuring an ensemble cast that includes two Academy Award nominees, Burt Young and Sally Kirkland. The film is set to be released in 2013.
Chuck Kennedy, Artist
The Official Artist for the ACOF, Chuck Kennedy (Chuckee) created art for Weird Tales in the 1950s. There are two "Chuck Kennedy Banquet Rooms" in the San Francisco Bay area. The "Stinking Rose" in Beverly Hills has three rooms of his work, one of which is a room of Old Masters done with garlic themes. He also has received two mayoral proclamations and a Chuck Kennedy Day. The Dead Fish Restaurant in Crockett, CA, has a room with hundreds of his caricatures which include Joan Crawfish, Orson Wales, Nat King Cod, Liza Minnow and Judy Gar, Laurel and Haddock, etc. He has created miniatures of headliners in Reno and Tahoe. His work is in the collections of Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine, Don Rickles, Bill Cosby and dozens of other celebrities. He has done well over 1,000 dioramas for people and places in Holland, London, the Italian Riviera and all over the West Coast. He now lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL, alone after the death of Dan Doty (Dandee) who had been his partner for over 34 years. Chuck would love to hear from you: email@example.com
Frank Hawkins & Joe Coulombe, Photographers, Inputers and Advisors
Have attended ACOF every year except the first year in New Orleans.
Frank collects the data for ACOF. Joe takes many of the photographs for the website galleries.
They retired in California in 2004, moved to Florida and have not regretted a single day.
Upon graduation from high school in 1958, Chuck enlisted in the Navy to travel the world. He served for the next 8 years in the Pacific Fleet as a Radioman 1st Class. Chuck retired as a telecommunications network planner from CenturyLink. Believing in the mission of the A Celebration of Friends and A Habitat of Friends deeply he's volunteered to be on the staff.
This year will be his first time to attend a Celebration. As a Celebration "Virgin", he looking forward to meeting a few hundred good men to show him the ropes!