EVENTS | PRIDE
If you’ve ever ventured out into some of the glitziest parties in Manhattan, you’ve probably run into the hunky Evan Kline and a few of his equally chic and attractive friends. It’s hard to miss them; they are all very tall, well dressed, and gorgeous as hell.
Evan’s birthday happens to fall on the same week as New York City Pride, and in 2021 he had the idea of celebrating the two simultaneously and in his own way.
“That year, I felt prouder than ever to be a part of the community, and I wanted to bring together all the New Yorkers I love under one roof. Obviously, a birthday is always a good reason to celebrate, but I really wanted to celebrate Pride. I’m not great at a lot of things, but a semi-talent and a passion of mine is to organize and produce events. I’ve done it since I was in high school. And by 2021, I had the right connections and resources to put on a really memorable Pride event that I decided to name Kline Time Pride.”
In May of this year, Evan was invited to the Ali Forney Center (AFC) Gala as a plus one. He admits that he’d heard of the Center before, but didn’t have any sort of grasp about the work AFC does with LGBTQ+ youth, protecting them from the harms of homelessness and equipping them with the right resources to be independent.
“It was so inspiring to hear about other people’s experiences, but what really moved me that night was when a friend of mine of many years unexpectedly appeared on the stage to accept an award.”
Terence Edgerson, also known as NY Social Bee, has built quite a name for himself within the New York nightlife scene and now is one of the board members of Ali Forney, but Evan had no idea that Terence used to be the center’s client.
“Terence’s story and speech really hit home with me. That night, I left feeling very inspired and passionate about giving back to my community through AFC,” says Evan. “I was on a mission.”
The Gala happened right around the time when Evan started to plan his second Kline Time Pride bash at JIMMY rooftop in SoHo.
“I thought, this year I want to raise as much money for the Ali Forney Center as possible. I reached out to the owner of JIMMY, David Rabin, and the bar’s general manager Sayora. Sayora helped secure a donation from Hendrick’s Gin and Milagro Tequila that would help cover the overhead fees. They committed to also sponsor an open bar for the first couple of hours of the event to help with fundraising efforts.”
Next, Evan put up a message to his Instagram followers asking if any brands or people would like to get involved in an upcoming pride event. The responses from his network to support were immediate. Velour Medical gave a direct donation to AFC and gifted free services to top donors, Selina hotels donated a stay at their Chelsea location, Barry’s Bootcamp donated classes for the raffle, and Harper+Scott donated beautiful branded tote bags for all of the guests.
“My friend Geo, of Geo Events, came up with this incredible step and repeat, and a beautiful neon light set up outside. One of the most touching things that happened was when I asked nightlife’s IT girl Linux to be one of my hosts. She categorically refused to be paid when she found out that I was raising money for the Ali Forney Center and showed up to support this event.”
Harper+Scott tote bags
“At first, I set the goal of raising five thousand dollars for AFC,”
”we hit that goal a day before the event, so I raised it to ten thousand. Everyone who was coming to the event had to donate at least something; and to increase donation size, those who gave a certain amount were entered into the raffle.”
The night’s theme “Category is: Electric Runway” was evident not only from the bold lewks from the hundred of guests but also from the glowing energy throughout the event. While Glow Job and Jan Sport entertained guests with their performance numbers, The Muses and Timo Weiland kept the glamourous crowd dancing the night away.
“By the end of the night, we had raised almost nine thousand dollars, which was well beyond what I had ever expected to raise for a birthday pride party. Unexpectedly, towards the end of the night, a somewhat newer friend of mine said he was moved by the night and by the mission of AFC and was committed to donating whatever distance we were away from achieving ten thousand. And he did.”
This year, Kline Time Pride raised over $10,000 to benefit the Ali Forney Center. Evan estimates that over 90% of people that attended his event had never donated to AFC before.