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A Helping Hands TARDIS

By Louis Trapani - Posted on 16 March 2010

Last month on Saturday, February 6, 2010, I was invited to an AMHH (Auntie M's Helping Hands, Inc.) event. Nothing unusual about this, as AMHH holds events throughout the year in which I am regularly invited to, but they seemed a little more eager for me to attend this particular fundraiser event than perhaps others of late. They had a mysterious "surprise" for me. I hadn't been to one in a while and I figured why not since I hadn't seen so many of my friends there in some time now.

AMHH, Inc is a not-for-profit charity made up entirely by volunteers which helps to raise funds for programs and organizations in the Long Island LGBT community. Since they are all volunteers, there are no real administrative overhead. The core of the organization is mostly made up of former owners, workers, and patrons of the warm and friendly community pub, Auntie M's which was around in the 1990s, hence the name, Auntie M's Helping Hands. The pub which is unfortunately is no longer around today, was once described as one similar to that of the famous 'Cheers' - a place where everyone knew your name. It was very much the case. Everyone there was family (take note that I am not using enclosing "family" in quotes here).

Back when they had their grand opening, I wrote a review of it commenting how I enjoyed the fact that all the tables had candles. It may not seem like much, but it was these little touches that had set them apart from other community bars at the time. Because of that comment, whenever I did return there, they always made sure I had a candle in front of me. In fact, they had one with my name on it. Even if I was simply sitting at the bar itself, the candle was there. You can't get better than that.

Although they were a community bar, and was active in the community, they felt they needed to do more to give back to the community and this is where the seed of the idea of AMHH came into being. During this early stage of the formation of the organization (if I recall correctly, about ten years ago now), they needed to establish themselves on the web. This is where I came in. I helped them initially with the website itself, and even after they took over the website themselves, I still helped with the server space and domain names.

Fast forward to today, or rather last month, when they were holding an "Aunt Barbara's Tupperware Party" fundraiser in which they asked for me to attend. They confided in me that there was to be a special surprise for me there. "What could it be?," I thought. Little did I know, it would be a TARDIS!

Yes, a TARDIS in the form of a special recognition plaque with a one-of-kind ceramic TARDIS with a long multi-colored scarf wrapped around it. It is beautifully hand-crafted by board member Mitch Winston's sister. They knew of my involvement with Doctor Who (i.e. Doctor Who: Podshock and the Gallifreyan Embassy), so they created this special recognition award featuring the iconic TARDIS and scarf which they presented to me at the event.

The wonderful Aunt Barbara (the one in the white socks pictured above) called me up to the front where they surprised me with this delightful plaque/sculpture.

I had promised to write it up here at the time, but I wanted to get some more photos from the event first and then I got caught up with all the preparations of Gallifrey 21 in Los Angeles (where Doctor Who: Podshock had its annual live recording on stage). So my apologies for the belated blog entry about it now.

In the group photo above (left to right): AMHH Board Member Anthony Portelli, President Edmund Chambers II, 'Aunt Barbara', Board Member Mitch Winston, Vice President John Desola, and Secretary Eddie Finan.

Left to right: Mitch Winston, Eddie Finan, myself, and John Desola

For more information about AMHH Inc. or to make a donation or attend one of their fundraising events, visit their website at

Thank you AMHH for the wonderful one-of-a-kind recognition award and your continued friendship throughout all these years.

Posted via email from Louis Trapani's Posterous

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