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|Atlanta Bucks ‘Purple Dress Run’ to plow through Midtown|
|by Bo Shell|
|April 13, 2012 00:00|
If you happen to be in Midtown April 21, don’t be alarmed if you run into well over 100 buzzed big guys traipsing around in purple dresses.
The sixth annual Purple Dress Run, a fundraiser for the Atlanta Bucks gay rugby team, takes over the city that day, and the 55-man team hopes to raise $5,000 with a little help from their friends.
“The term ‘run’ is used loosely as it’s more of a 5K bar run/walk/crawl/waddle/saunter, depending primarily upon which point along the route you survey the participants,” jokes Bucks President Max Alvarado. “Aside from the occasional wardrobe malfunction along the way, we haven’t lost a runner yet.”
The annual event starts this year at Mixx in Ansley Square, then takes contestants to the Nook, Joe’s on Juniper, Blake’s on the Park, the Fifth Ivory and wraps up at the Atlanta Eagle.
There’ll be plenty of games — and drinking — along the way, but the rugby club, which celebrates its ninth year on the pitch this July, is raising money primarily for the team’s trip to Manchester, England, to compete in the Bingham Cup Tournament at the end of May.
The Bingham Cup is the world championship of gay and gay-inclusive rugby teams and is the largest men’s 15-aside rugby union event outside of the sport’s World Cup. The event was named for Mark Bingham, a gay rugby player who died on United Airlines Flight 93 during the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on Washington, D.C.
“The Bucks plan to raise in excess of $20,000 to help offset the cost of the trip. While it would be nice to fully fund each player’s trip, we’re not in a financial position to do that,” Alvarado says. “Obviously, the more money we raise, the more we can pass along to the players.”
Alvarado estimates that the trip will cost around $3,000 per player.
The team also hosts monthly first Friday wing and beer busts at the Heretic, and every third Saturday is the team’s fundraising night at the Atlanta Eagle in preparation for their trip across the pond.
A portion of the run’s proceeds will also be donated to Lost & Found Youth, Inc., an Atlanta non-profit dedicated to helping homeless LGBT youth get off the streets and into more permanent housing. The organization also operates a 24-hour hotline and six-bed transitional housing facility.
“The Bucks have been incredible in their support,” says Rick Westbrook, a member of Lost & Found Youth board. “These kids need help, and these guys, they get it.”
Top photo: Last year’s Purple Dress Run saw around 130 participants raise $3,500. This year the Atlanta Bucks aim to have for more than 150 runners and raise at least $5,000. (by Dyana Bagby)
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