All photos by Athena Delene unless noted.
On a blustery December weeknight like last night (Wednesday, Dec. 3), it’s always a crapshoot what will draw Eugeneans out of their warm little nests and to downtown.
Well it turns out Eugeneans will come out in hordes for a LGBTQ happy hour.
“I’ve heard that around 250 folks came through the doors last night,” Barn Light co-owner Thomas Pettus-Czar tells EW. “It was a tremendous turnout filled with good fun for a good cause.”
Last night was the first-ever “Made in the U.S.A.” night, a now monthly LGBTQ happy hour fundraiser night from 6 pm to midnight at The Barn Light, hosted by John O’Malley and The Department of Spectacular. The theme state was Oregon — an Oregon-themed photo booth was set up by the entrance.
It was a shoulder-to-shoulder all-ages crowd. “Undoubtedly, it was well above an average Friday night,” Pettus-Czar says.
O’Malley tells EW that Avalon Eugene, the benefactor for last night’s event, received $500 in cash donations to put toward starting a queer space in town (EW did a story, “The Queer Conundrum,” on this in the Nov. 26 issue).
Pettus-Czar points out that the $500 does not include any funds from Ninkasi’s Pints for a Cause.
“My favorite moment from the night was hearing from John [O’Malley] that a gentleman to whom I introduced him who had arrived early in the evening informed him that, despite living in Eugene for awhile, this was the first time in years he had felt comfortable going out for the night,” Pettus-Czar says.
The next “Made in the U.S.A.” event will be Wednesday, Jan. 7, and Kansas will be the theme state.
“Made in the U.S.A.” host John O’Malley (front) with Cass Averill, facilitator and founder of TransPonder
Andrew Clark and Jasmyn Hinton at the Avalon Eugene table
Cass Averill (center) and company at the TransPonder table
Photo by Alex V. Cipolle
In addition to Ninkasi’s Pints for a Cause program, The Barn Light served cocktails with a LGBTQ historical twist. Photo courtesy John O’Malley