ST. GEORGE – Energy levels were high at the FireHouse Bar and Grill in St. George Saturday night as revelers came out to see drag queens and kings strut their stuff on the catwalk in a Drag Night Fundraiser that was a little bit raunchy, heavy on heart and gave the proverbial middle finger to cancer.
Hosted by the FireHouse Bar and Grill and organized by Mace Jacobson’s son, Matthew Jacobson, and DJ Ballin, the Drag Night Fundraiser was the second in what organizers hope will become a yearly event with new recipients chosen to to benefit each year.
It was a night that brought the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community together with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and people from all walks of life as they rallied around Mace Jacobson, an advisor at Dixie State University who is battling an aggressive form of colon cancer.
Matthew Jacobson’s family is LDS and though he no longer practices the religion, many LDS friends and family came out to support Mace Jacobson at the event.
Speaking as his drag queen alter ego personality, Trè L’trache, Matthew Jacobson asked the crowd how many Mormons were in attendance and the crowd responded with a resounding cheer.
“We love the Mormons,” L’trache said.
The first Drag Night was organized and held in 2015 for Linda Stay, a local LGBT advocate who is also battling cancer. More than $6,000 was raised, money which helped pay for therapies to boost Stay’s immune system so she could continue with chemotherapy treatments, she said.
Beyond the money and medical treatments, Stay said that the Drag Night Fundraiser was healing in less obvious but equally important ways.
“I was so moved by people coming out and supporting,” Stay said. “The energy, it lifts you, it changes your body and your cells. It was lifesaving; that night helped switch things for me.”
Stay hoped that this year’s event would give similar energy to Mace Jacobson and that she would feel the same love and support from the diverse community who attended the event.
Saturday’s event featured live entertainment from a variety of performers, musical stylings by DJ Ballin, twerking contests (dance moves involving shaking and thrusting of the hips and such), opportunity drawings and performances from both veteran and new drag queens and kings.
The evening was emceed by L’trache, who kept the audience entertained throughout with rowdy performances and witty repartee.
Matthew Jacobson said of the event:
There are a few talents that I have in this world. One is art, one is writing and one is dressing up as a woman and making people laugh. So I figured why not put that third talent to good use in Southern Utah where there aren’t a lot of drag shows and give people a chance to come actually enjoy a drag show and raise some money and do some good with it at the same time.
One hundred percent of the money raised – all performers volunteered their talents and the FireHouse Bar and Grill did not take any money, L’trache said from the stage – will be used to help Mace Jacobson prolong her life and maybe cross a few things off her bucket list, Matthew Jacobson said.
Right now, they are looking into the possibility of taking Mace Jacobson to Alaska to go whale watching or to the East Coast to see historic sites and taste the seafood. Matthew Jacobson said most of Mace Jacobson’s bucket list is comprised of traveling to places she has never seen.
“She’s everything to me,” Matthew Jacobson said of his mother. “She raised me and she is fine with me being who I am … even if I were to raise a million dollars for my mom I could never pay her back for everything that she’s done for me … the least is I can do is try and give her a great life with the life she has remaining.”
Mace Jacobson has begun chemotherapy and will soon start gene therapy, she said, adding that she remains both realistic and optimistic about her battle.
“Tonight was awesome, it was fun and the energy was amazing,” Mace Jacobson said about the fundraiser. “I am taken aback, it is humbling to see how many people care. We have some great humans in this world.”
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