By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Having lived in Atlanta for over 20 years, Thomas Le considers it home, and his many close friends are his extended family. As the event manager for Peach Media Holdings, he is deeply involved with so many non-profit local charities, which has also prompted him to launch his own event benefiting a local non-project: Project Run-a-Way.
Tell us a little bit about why you created the event Project Run-a-Way.
Project Run-a-Way was a chance for me to combine two of my passions; fashion and fundraising. The idea was to start a charity of my own initially, however, while going through that process and seeing just how many great local charities there were, I felt like my creative fundraising would be best utilized by allowing the Project Run-a-Way idea to benefit various local charities in our community. Last year the event benefitted Lost-n-Found Youth and this year it will be benefitting PALS (Pets Are Loving Support). The winners of this year’s Project Run-a-Way gets to pick the benefiting charity for next year’s event.
What can participants expect at the event on March 30 at the Heretic?
From the hottest Leather runway show from Bulldog Custom leather to a sizzling swimwear fashion show from Boy Next Door – there is something for everyone! We have ten sponsored teams comprised of some of your favorite local businesses that will each have to design a dress in using the “mystery box” of materials given to them. They will have one hour to complete the look before sending their models down the runway. And as always be on the lookout for a surprise performance.
You have a vast group of friends involved in this event – how does that help set this event apart?
My friends are my rock and support system; without them, I would never be able to pull off such a successful event. So many of our friends help volunteer for the is event including all of the fabulous models, so you will see some familiar faces walk down the runway. I like to really look at it as a testament to our community helping one another and being a family
Tell us why you chose PALS Atlanta to be the beneficiary of the event?
As a dog-owner and animal lover, I know personally just how much an animal’s love and support can offer you. The mission statement and what PALS stands for really resonates with me. We want anyone living with HIV/AIDS or terminal illness to be able to hang onto their support system and loved ones as long as they can, and if Project Runaway can be of help to that, I think it’s amazing.
What is it about partying for a cause that resonates so well with the Atlanta gay community?
I have always said; a birthday party without a cake is just a meeting. A party without a purpose is just a gathering. To me, a party is a reason to get together and support great causes. Alan Collins at the Heretic has been gracious and beyond supportive with the community, and it’s a pleasure to work with him on events like the G8Yties 80s dance party and so many others.
How can people get involved with Project Run-a-Way?
We always need extra volunteers to help with the event. They can reach out to me on social media, or always feel free to come up to me at any event! I am always open to new ideas and helping other local charities coming up with ideas for fundraising events as well. If you can’t attend the event, you can always make a donation to PALS at Palsatlanta.org.
Project Run-a-Way is at the Heretic on March 30, 6-9 pm.