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Northern Xposure weekend a success
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Northern Xposure weekend a success

by James Whitely - SGN Contributing Writer

Northern Xposure (NX), the annual Seattle social fundraising weekend directly benefiting Lambert House, took place August 20-23.

According to Rich Kaalaas, one of the primary promoters, 'It is a mix of bar time, social time, and dance time.'

NX began the evening of August 20 with a kickoff social at C.C. Attle's, a kind of 'meet and greet' party. The highlights of August 21 included a non-alcoholic bonfire on Alki Beach and 'Valkyrie Queer!' at the Wild Rose, the first NX event ever designed specifically for the girls.

Ken Shulman, executive director of Lambert House, spoke of how grateful he was for NX during the August 22 barbeque at Cal Anderson Park. The food for the barbeque was donated by C.C. Attle's. Some atypical games were also enjoyed at the barbeque, including rubber devil duck racing down the fountain and a high-heel kicking contest.

The fourth annual Sunset Cruise with DJ Ted Eiel on August 23 certainly proved to be the highlight of the weekend. Lasting about four hours, the cruise toured the Puget Sound area throughout the afternoon and docked just as the sun was setting. The dance party on the boat really started heating up about 90 minutes after launch as the alcohol began taking effect and the shirts started coming off. Although it's the highest priced event of the weekend, the cruise has nonetheless become a staple of NX.

NX put on over 10 events during the weekend. A few of the Sisters from the Abbey of St. Joan graced patrons with their presence at multiple events, but most of the events were still largely male in attendance. NX officials are hoping that this will change in the future.

During the cruise, Sarah Hughes, told SGN, "This is my first one, I've had a good time and it's been a blast."

NX began in 2001 as a private event. The first public NX was held in 2005.

"In general, it's been getting bigger," Kaalaas told SGN. Not just a Seattle event, NX brings people from all over the Pacific Northwest.

The volunteers of NX have been helping to fund Lambert House since the event's inception.

"They are our future," said Kaalaas. "The Lambert house teaches youth to be comfortable in their own skin as Gay and Lesbian."

Some of the Lambert House youth volunteered their time for NX, and since 2001, NX has raised over $100,000 for Lambert House.

The host for the Sunset Cruise, Jim Oliver, told SGN how grateful he personally was for Lambert House. Formerly married and the father of two children, one of who is Gay, he expressed how much of a positive resource the Lambert House has been in his life, and for his child.

NX is put on by an all-volunteer workforce. Kaalaas told SGN, "Although NX has come from smaller roots, we want it to be an all-inclusive event that crosses boundaries. We've made a lot of effort to get women involved."

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