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Benefit for Camp Courage at Greens Hotel

Camp Courage, a two-day training camp for activists seeking to fight for gay rights, will be receiving a sizable boost in funds thanks to a fundraiser benefit at the Greens Hotel on Thursday. The camp was inspired by the "Camp Obama" program that taught community organizing strategies to supporters of the president’s campaign last year. The camp’s goal is to prepare for a campaign for gay marriage in 2010, hoping to reverse Proposition 8, which passed in 2008 and declared: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."

"This is the first Camp Courage to take place in Sacramento," said Cynthia Dall, the fundraiser for the city’s branch of the camp. "We really need to get Sacramentans out there for their support."

The fundraiser will feature a no-host bar, appetizers, a five-course dinner, DJ and live music and speakers from Camp Courage, who will explain what the program is all about.

Sponsors include Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento Young Dems and The Coffee Garden.

Food will be provided by Joshua Ploeg, also known as "The Traveling Chef." Ploeg is the author of numerous vegan cookbooks, including his latest, the Proustian "In Search of Lost Taste." For the event on Thursday, Ploeg’s plates will be vegetarian with some vegan focus as well.

Musical guests are varied, and, like the chef, are providing their services for no profit.

Aside from DJ Larry Rodriguez, the other music acts are Dog Party, Christine Shields and Phil Franklin, Thomas Bixby, and a possible appearance by Willie Winant, who is practicing to perform with John Zorn.

The strangest act in the lineup is Dog Party.

"They’re a two-piece sister act consisting of an 11-year-old on drums and a 14-year-old who sings philosophical lyrics," said Dall. "I first saw them at another event, and thought of them when I was planning for this one. Their content is really deep, like ‘Do you see what you think you see?’"

Artists are encouraged to bring their work to hang and even sell that night. To have pieces put on display, they must bring them to the hotel by 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

"We promise to take good care of them," Dall said with a laugh.

Prices will be on a sliding scale from $30-$65, depending on how much the attendee can afford. Kids 12 and under get in for free.

Artists can contact Rebecca at 916-852-7409.

The Camp Courage event will take place from Nov. 7-8 at the Elks Lodge on 11th and J streets.

Anyone interested in signing up for the camp or finding more information can do so at http://www.couragecampaign.org/page/s/campsacramento

The Greens Hotel is on 1700 Del Paso Blvd.

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