Oh la la! Red Party Brings in Record Total

Despite a slumping economy Hotel Monaco’s 5th annual benefit for the Utah AIDS Foundation on Nov. 12 brought in $26,000 — shattering last year’s record by $2,000.

Although Monaco Entertainment Guru Shawn Jackson, one of the annual Red Party’s organizers, said his goal was to raise $30,000 for the foundation, he was still delighted that the party raised so much money.

“I’m in shock, I’m in awe that we brought in the $26,000 this year, given the economy,” he said. “And, of course, we offer a special thank you to all our sponsors. We couldn’t have done that without them.”

The party’s sponsors this year were Squatters Pub and Brewery, Cruzan Rum, Hotel Monaco and Bambara, the hotel’s in-house restaurant which provided tasty French food for the evening (which had a Moulin Rouge theme), including lobster bisque shooters, chilled prawns and mushroom tarts. The evening featured decorations inspired by the famous French nightclub and performances by local burlesque troupe the Slippery Kittens, which included their signature can-can dance.

“One of the highlights beside the Slippery Kittens and their can-can numbers that tied in whole Monaco Rouge theme was that we also had shots of absinthe,” added Jackson. “Everybody really loved that. It brought the whole Paris flair in.”

Each year, all hotels in the Kimpton chain — which owns Hotel Monaco — hold a party near or on World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) to raise money for local AIDS-related charities. In 2007, Kimpton placed second in the nation behind Washington, D.C. after a last-minute donation of $5,000 bumped the properties in the nation’s capitol to first place (cities or regions with more than one hotel combine efforts to host a party). Last year, however, the hotel placed first among all properties in the United States and Canada for raising $24,000.

While most locations won’t have a final tally until after World AIDS Day (when most hotels or hotel groups hold their parties), Jackson said he hopes Hotel Monaco will once again take the top slot.

The Utah AIDS Foundation provides a number of services to Utahns living with HIV/AIDS, including a food bank, case management, a weekly HIV test site and a number of HIV education and prevention programs.

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