Sensational @ Sixty
"I didn't want it to be about me" begins Paul Vendrick when talking about how he decided to make his sixtieth birthday extravaganza a fundraiser for PAWS, his favorite charity.
"This way I was able to shift the focus, from being a guest to a host."
PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) provides resources to people living with HIV/AIDS so that they can keep pet companions as long as possible, and according to Vendrick the need is so great there's a long waiting list.
"Bar: PM wasn't a hard choice, and it was a logical one. As you know James, Chad, and their bartenders are very generous and agreed to donate all tips to PAWS, plus I was able to take over the whole bar for a few hours."
"You better work, bitch."
Sure, Vendrick is known for his affable personality, his disarming smile, and his charity work, but his name rarely comes up without someone mentioning that he's in better shape than men half his age.
"There are no shortcuts. It's a lifestyle."
And it's a lifestyle he's maintained since coming out at 18. That means hitting the gym six days a week, running, and watching his diet - a task made easier by not keeping unhealthy food in the house to begin with, and his near total ban on dining out.
"I'm very controlling about what goes in my body, so I just don't eat out" he says, before clarifying that he will go to a restaurant if, for instance, it's the site of a birthday party or other special event.
Thoughts on Sixty
"There's so much we didn't see coming. Things like Grindr, for instance, but I'm not going to talk about all that. Isn't that what old people do? Always talk about the way things were." Vendrick laughs.
But he did briefly touch on the AIDS crisis which wiped out a majority of his peers, including his brother and his partner, and then offered his thoughts on the way gay culture views older people.
"The gay culture isn't one that honors its predecessors very well, but, to our credit, we do work to make things better for those coming after us. It's always been that way."
The Important Things
"As far as charity goes, the people I admire the most aren't celebrities. They're my friends. Mike Mullen, for instance. That guy works tirelessly. He just never stops."
"I didn't have a choice about being gay, just as I didn't have a choice about getting old" said Vendrick. And while that's true, he did have the choice in redefining what it means to get older - which he's clearly rocking.
There will be complimentary wells and domestics, food, and special shots. Raffle tickets are only a dollar and prizes include gift baskets and Pride VIP passes.
Tonight's the night! And stay for the dazzling 9:00 show starring Adria Andrews, Krystal Light & Mariah Candy!