The Original Board and Supporters of the 2002 A Celebration of Friends
*Move over Mick Jagger, “What a drag it is getting old”,
Thousands of mature men from around the world who have attended our yearly celebrations are ready to answer that question.
A Celebration Of Friends, Inc. recognized the fact years ago that in a world known for its adoration of the young, when a man gets a little age on him, his opinions matter less and his options in life and love become few and far between.
In 2002, ACOF decided to challenge that way of thinking by hosting low-cost, stress-free Celebrations for the mature man and his admirer.
Hundreds of men showed up for the party; some arriving on steeds we call wheelchairs, others brandishing swords we describe as canes. These men were followed by a battalion of younger and middle aged admirers ready to join the parade, seeking the wisdom and fellowship of their older mentors.
Silver daddies, polar bears and silver foxes are some of the names used to describe the men who gather for our annual festivities. In the past, these were the guys who were forced to hide their passions and identities because revealing their true selves would have cost them their jobs, got them kicked out of the military, banished them from their churches and gotten them ostracized by society in general. These are the very same men who fought in the streets of New York outside a small bar called Stonewall - the very same men who stood their ground until they forced society not only to accept them as they were, but to let them live their lives freely, loving those they needed to love.
A typical Celebration consists of several hundred men registering into our host hotel, then meeting each morning for fellowship and a hearty breakfast. Afternoons are filled with site seeing excursions to local points of interest then sun bathing by the pool. Educational seminars and lectures are also offered and conducted by qualified doctors, lawyers and experts in their fields. Discussions and debates can be heard from a variety of groups gathering in small klatches, be it chapters of the Prime Timers World Wide or members or other similiar groups. Nights are filled with optional trips to nearby bars and restaurants or just relaxing times with a few good friends.
"The Celebration has become a large family reunion for our members" stated Tom “Tomcat” Pence, president and founder of the organization. "In 2015, we've brought in our #1 most admired man (voted by all members of the Celebration), the incomparable and revered actor, Edward Asner. In 2016, the most influental gay man in the world, former congressman Barney Frank (along with his husband Jim Ready) came in to answer questions and tell us about his coming out while still a member of congress. Not only did our family get to see up close and personal both of these major celebrities, they personally got to ask questions and have pictures taken with them. Quite an accomplishment for a group of men that society generally turns its back on!” We come to celebrate together and build upon friendships with other men from so many different places.
A Celebration of Friends, Inc. is also a non-profit 501(c)4 Organization and has donated over $160,000 to local charities. Over the years, thousands of men from around the world have attended and it has changed their lives forever.
"It turns me on to think of growing old." - John Denver (Poems, Prayers & Promises)
*Rolling Stones - (Mothers Little Helper)
Now, I would love to settle on the location and dates for future ACOF weekends. We've been invited to move out west and encouraged to have more Celebrations in different parts of the country. One thing I've learned over the past thirteen Celebrations is that it really doesn't matter what I want; what's important is what YOU want. YOU are the most important part of each Celebration and we’re going to build all future Celebrations around YOU. This is your chance to let us know what you think:
Please take a couple of seconds and share your thoughts by filling out the following (confidential) survey.
- Click on the button below or this link: http://www.celebrationoffriends.org/ahof-survey.
- Sign into your account. (If you've never registered for an ACOF event, you will not be able to fill out survey.)
- Fill out the questions.
- Submit and you're all done!
Lots & Lots Of Love,
THE BOARD OF THE A CELEBRATION OF FRIENDS
A Celebration of Friends, Inc.