PowerUp for a Great Time

POWER UP for a Great Time

Gala to Take Place December 9th at Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel

By Rebecca Redshaw

The traditional gift for the first anniversary is paper. Therefore, the women of POWER UP should be wrapping their presents in gold given their success in 2001. The expectations of co-founders and co-directors, Stacy Codikow and Amy Shomer, have surpassed their dreams and given them reason to celebrate in style.

“We said initially if we had a hundred members in our first year, we’d be happy,” Codikow said. “Well, in less than a year we have a membership of more that five hundred.”

In addition to gay women in Los Angeles who are professionals in the entertainment industry, the Internet has helped draw interest from around North America with a chapter of more than fifty members established in New York City.

Sunday, December 9th, POWER UP will celebrate their first year with a fundraising event at the Regent Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. Tickets, which start at $200 a person, are going fast as buzz spreads about the gala.

Codikow barely contained her excitement. “The event’s going to be spectacular! We’re giving an award to Jehan F. Agrama, who produced the GLAAD media awards for eleven years. And also to Alan Poul, the Executive Producer for Six Feet Under. The hotel is a gorgeous venue and we’re making it an old-fashioned, glamorous Hollywood theme. [Our event] Will be different because it will be a lot more fun.”

The list of celebrity guests supporting POWER UP is extensive and growing as the event nears. Laura Linney, Melissa Gilbert, Rosanna Arquette, Mike Farrell, Iona Skye, and Christina Applegate are just a few of the celebrities who will be on hand. There will be a special cocktail party prior to the dinner where, for a higher priced ticket, you can share your martini of choice with many of the special guests.

The success of POWER UP is not contingent on this one evening. Shomer and Codikow have dedicated themselves in the last year to establishing a non-profit organization of integrity.

“We are an industry organization that has certain standards unto itself. It’s made up of people from all fields of the industry, so we’re that and we’re women who happen to be gay as opposed to a bunch of gay women who happen to be in the industry,” Codikow stated.

In addition to the monthly networking opportunities at mixers, POWER UP has established film grants, a quarterly newsletter, and a website: http://power-up.net/

But the focus in the next two weeks is on planning a great party. Everyone’s invited – men, women, gays, straights. Are celebrities worried about being labeled as gay?

Codikow set the record straight. “You know what? There’s paranoia or homophobia or naiveté in every aspect of what we do. The key is integration.”