CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Every month, former drag queen, Patsi Kocan hosts a dinner party at a local mom-and-pop restaurant to raise money for local 5O1C3 nonprofits in Cathedral City.
Eye on the Desert’s Caitlin Thropay met the man behind Patsi to find out why he started having these dinner parties.
What started as a desire to bring the community of Cathedral City together and help others out turned into quite the dinner party.
Tommy Kocan started “Dinner with Patsi” two years ago. If you were to ask him what a "Dinner with Patsi" is like he'd say, "Coming to a family reunion meal without the drama, that’s basically what a Dinner with Patsi is," Kocan told News Channel 3.
But there is more to the dinner party than a meal and a good time. The dinners always help a local cause. The very first “Dinner with Patsi,” she raised $250 for the Cathedral City Boys and Girls Club. This year, she has already raised over $12,000 for charity.
Kocan showed us where “all the magic begins" - a closet of dresses and shoes and wigs all for Patsi.
He told us she has over 30 pairs of pumps and a handful of dresses.
“If we are getting ready to go out and she doesn’t want to wear basic black, she can pull out one of her many dresses,” he told us.
At the dinner, Patsi will go from table to table talking with her guests.
“I will have most likely at my dinner parties, usually I'll have a mayor, I'll have part of city council, sometimes from the parks departments, different commissions from Cathedral City Chamber of Commerce, restaurant owners..." he said.
At dinner, Patsi also passes the red hat.
“Last month alone, I pulled $2,712 out of this hat by the end of the night and I gave it to the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City," he said.
Other charities Patsi helps are the Cathedral City Senior Center, Cathedral City Police Department, California Jazz Foundation, Cathedral City High School Band, and in September she’s helping out the Cathedral City Chamber Choir.
“Come on, you go out to dinner two or three times a week, come have dinner with a drag queen, I mean what the heck," he exclaimed.
If you are interested in attending the next “Dinner with Patsi” it’s on September 18 at Bonta. You can find more information on Patsi Kocan’s Facebook page here.
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