A bid to raise £15,000 by Ramsgate business Sugar Rush and Stage Door Academy continues with a gala ball at Ramsgate Music Hall this Friday (March 31).
The performing arts school and community café in the High Street is moving to the former HSBC bank on the corner of King Street due to its current site being earmarked for demolition and redevelopment.
But SDA and Sugar Rush, owned by Ramsgate mum Heidi Moran, has to raise £15,000 to be able to take on the lease for the new site.
Sugar Rush also provides performance, rehearsal, meeting space, music and office rooms, hot desks, baby and children classes, community social groups and more.
It is hoping to add to that offering once moved by setting up The Vault, a speakeasy style club and performance space in the old bank.
The latest fundraising event to help reach the target is The Filthy/Gorgeous Ball and Charity Auction at the music hall in Turner Street.
The event will include cabaret, live music and a DJ and runs from 7pm until late.
Tickets from £5 and a dress code to wear “your most gorgeous get up for a night of absolutely filthy entertainment.”
All ticket sales, collection and auction money goes directly to Sugar Rush & SDA CIC funds to secure and renovate the new building.
Recent events included a Sugar Rush social event last Saturday afternoon and Inner Magic DIY Pride by the Seaside at the Elephant and Castle pub that evening.
The Saturday prior to that there was a Hard Candy Drag Night with Venus Domain, Cheryl Shots, Peachy Kween, Jelly Bean Blue and Miss Oatie T taking to the stage.
Sadly, the drag night provoked some abuse on social media directed as some of the audience and performer Miss Oatie T being under 18.
Miss Oatie T is the stage name for 13-year-old Miles Pullman from Broadstairs. Mum Nicola said the Sugar Rush venue is a safe space and she is always with Miles for performances.
She added: “Miles always performs for an audience for charity, Pride or for family and friends. Miles performs, choreographs his dance, sets his own music, creates his own look and his own makeup. There are not many 13 year olds capable of doing half of what he achieves.
“There is no difference in him performing in a safe space as a drag queen as when he has performed at world level street dance.
“There will always be haters but the love and support this generation needs will always outweigh this hate.
“The queens we have been fortunate enough to meet have been inspiring , amazing and help myself as a mum and Miles. We know many of the big queens, the Ru girls and local queens, and they always look after us both.
“I want all my children to be happy, what I don’t want is my child to be that person 6ft tall crying on someone else’s shoulder saying I wish my mum and dad would have accepted me. That is heart-breaking.”
Heidi, from Sugar Rush, says trolling will not deter inclusiveness at the venue. She said: “We are an inclusive venue and want to be a safe space for all. Our aim is for everybody to feel like they belong and have a place to express themselves.
“We run theatre, music, poetry, drag events and more to include all, LGBTQ+, neurodiverse, disabled, everybody……. We have drag queen story time, this is no different from panto dames and teaches acceptance and fun to all ages.
“Our drag show was a family event fundraiser, with lip syncing, Disney songs and dancing. It was hosted and performed by up and coming queens, put together by The Venus Domain aged 18.
“My daughter Matilda age 12 attended and has attended various drag and pride events all through her life. We regularly go to Brighton and Margate Pride. She watches drag race and loves it all. She has been in pantomime since five years of age. She is very accepting of everybody’s choices and yet it hasn’t made her feel pressured into changing who she is or anything inappropriate for her age.”
Tickets for the ball at Ramsgate Music Hall can be bought at https://www.outsavvy.com/…/the-filthygorgeous-ball…
There are also money tins behind the bar/counter at: The Horse & Groom, The Bedford, The Artillery Arms, The Honeysuckle & Sugar Rush.