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Volume 19/Issue 22/2001

Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Gay Community Group Seeks to Purchase
& Stop First Gay Internet Bank from Closing

In response to a public notice on Oct. 5 by the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) evidencing an application in process for Voluntary Dissolution of G & L Bank and a subsequent press release by the bank on Fri., Oct. 12, confirming its intent to liquidate, sell its assets and liabilities, or be acquired by a Jan. 5, 2002 deadline, Steven Dunlap, the original founder of G & L Bank, announced recently that he, along with a Gay community group (Gay Community BancShares) plans to ask the OTS to explore its chances of purchasing and acquiring the Bank without causing any interruption in customer service but more importantly to keep the bank from closing.

Within the first nine months of its opening date, Dunlap was ousted from active management of the Bank by Kay Griffith, the Bank's President. At the time, Dunlap had concerns and questions regarding Griffith's ability to successfully execute Dunlap's vision and dream for the first Gay Internet bank. Apparent problems preceding the bank's decision to voluntarily close were caused by Griffith's lack of proper management and leadership, and her failure to understand the Gay consumer base as outlined in the original business plan. "If the business plan is followed, and you are somewhat flexible and willing to listen to your customers, you can and will be enormously successful with the Bank's concept," says Dunlap. Dunlap still believes that the concept for G & L Bank is strong. Proof of the viability of the concept lies in the fact that the Bank currently has total assets of $101 million, impressive for a two-year-old start up bank concept. The bank is and has been overall successful in many ways, is fully capitalized, and therefore should not be closed by some large institutional, straight investors who are dissatisfied. If Dunlap's group is successful in acquiring G & L Bank, he plans to deploy branches in kiosks or in-line retail spaces in at least five densely Gay-populated cities around the country, so long as OTS regulatory approvals are granted and CRA requirements are met.

Dunlap says that the true success of his bank's original business plan must include physical locations described as highly visible, cost effective, and highly productive bank satellites which can deploy a wider customer lending base and generate a volume of income-producing assets. This strategic deployment coupled with the latest technological integration of a streamlined Internet delivery channel grants thousands of customers nationwide access to superior, seamless Internet banking. Mortgage products have been more successfully delivered through the Internet than many other kinds of commercial and consumer loan products. Business and consumer loans are best delivered today by local lenders in face-to-face environments. By combining a face-to-face, community banking style and popular technology, it creates what is called "technology-personal-community-banking," creating the best of both worlds.

What are the plans for the future? Firstly, this Gay community group wants to ensure that G & L Bank remains viable and financially sound so it may serve the Gay community in fulfilling its original mission. Secondly, it wants to be responsive to customers' needs above all others. Thirdly, it wants to be profitable for its shareholders and employees alike. And finally, this group wants to let the Gay community truly own its bank by providing everyone an opportunity to purchase stock and take part in helping to fulfill this dream. "I want the Gay community to own the controlling majority of our bank this time," Dunlap said.

Why not join us now in regaining OUR bank with its original mission to attain a solid financial future for the Gay community? Contact Steven Dunlap for more information at 850.572.5999 or e-mail to sdunlap@stevendulap.com.

Big Edition
Welcomes Halloween Revelers

This 72 page edition of Ambush with its 40-page Main section and 32-page Expose section brings Halloween revelers the latest on events, club and bar happenings, dining, shopping and the best in services and spas. Welcome to the Gulf South, Texas through Florida, and all its charm and hospitality. See Special Events on page 38 for complete Halloween calendar.

Crescent City Gears Up for Halloween 18

The Crescent City gears up as Halloween 18 promises to be the biggest and best ever. The 18th annual weekend will dazzle as Halloween presents Glam, Glitter & Grooviness Thurs.-Sun., Oct. 25-28, benefiting Project Lazarus.

Project Lazarus is a residential facility for people living with AIDS. It has received over $2 million from Halloween in New Orleans over the years. Last year a record $401,000 was Halloween's donation.

"Puttin' On The Glitz" kicks off festivities Thurs. with dinner and silent auction at the incomparable Ritz-Carlton, 921 Canal St. Fredy Omar and his band will keep revelers dancing while shopping and bidding on the mega auction. Auction items run the gamut from jewelry, furniture, exciting vacations, hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, amazing artwork to many other items graciously donated by area businesses. Cocktail attire is required for the 7:30-11pm event. Guest admission is $75 and front door valet parking is available at $10.

Both the Fri. and Sat. events have very limited parking available. Consider gathering at Oz and taking the shuttle. Pay parking is available on Sat. in the lot across the street from Convention Center Hall J. Shuttle passes may be purchased at Oz on Fri., Oct. 26 from 12pm-5pm. Additionally, shuttle passes may be purchased at the pickup/drop-off locations which include Oz, Maison Dupuy, 1001 Toulouse, and the Sheraton, 500 Canal St. Prices are $5 for a one way transfer or $15 for a two day unlimited event shuttle pass. Shuttles will run 30 minutes prior until 30 minutes after the events.

Friday will bring "Glamourama" to Twi-Ro-Pa Mills, 1544 Tchoupitoulas St. DJ Phil B from San Francisco will be featured along with a light show designed by Ross Berger from Miami. This event also boast a disco chill room for those who appreciate a different sound. The dance party runs from 10pm-3am with casual attire, $35 guest admission and open bar.

Saturday's mega costume bash, Glam Glitter & Grooviness, is scheduled for the Robin St. Wharf, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place. Famous circuit DJ Manny Lehman out of Los Angeles will spin the vinyl for the biggest party of the whole weekend. You'll enter the party through a spectacular red carpet entrance. This year's dance floor is the largest ever and be sure to make you appearance on stage before midnight. the Hawaiian dance company, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, are returning this year for a 1am performance. Set for 10pm-4am, costume is required, guest admission is $60 with open bar.

Gospel Groove closes out the weekend Sunday, 12noon-4pm at House of Blues, 225 Decatur St. The menu includes Caesar salad, jambalaya, red beans and rice, BBQ chicken and bread pudding. Lyle Henderson returns as emcee and the entertainment will be non-stop with Tyrone Foster & The Arc Singers and 4-Eva-1 on the main stage, and the Wimberly Family performing in the House of Blues courtyard, the Voodoo Garden. The Hawaiian dance troupe, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, will do an exciting encore performance. A separate host entrance is available for hosts and guests. Please bypass the line if there is one. It's casual attire with guest admission at $35 with bloody marys, screwdrivers, mimosas, daiquiris and beer. Limited seating is available.

New sponsors include Agouron Pharmaceuticals, Willow Catering, Zaharoff, Inc., Saks Fifth Avenue/Versace Jeans Couture/Versace Classic V2, and Cable Rep Advertising.

Venue sponsors include the Ritz-Carlton, Twi-Ro-Pa Mills, Delta Queen Steamboat Company and the House of Blues.

Returning as Corporate Sponsors are Miller Lite, United Airlines, Oz, Destination Management, Genre Magazine, Skyy Vodka and Ambush Magazine. Ambush returns as "exclusive local media sponsor for New Orleans, as well as all of Louisiana and the Gulf South" for the fifth year. This year's AMgrant [Ambush Advertising Grant Donation] brings its total Halloween sponsorship package to $315,290 from 1997-2001.

Visit HalloweenNewOrleans.com for three day passes at $125 and four day passes at $200. Contact info. is Halloween in New Orleans, PO Box 52171, New Orleans, LA 70152-2171, phone 504.945.5546, fax 504.945.5326 or e-mail Halloween@HalloweenNewOrleans.com.

Gay Games Deadline Oct. 31

If you thought the Sydney 2000 Olympics were huge, just wait for the 2002 Gay Games! Get ready for a festival of fun, frivolity and sport. The deadline for early participant registrations is Oct. 31. Sign up before this date and save $30 on registration fees. For registration visit sydney2002.org.au.

The curtain rises on one of the year's biggest sporting and cultural events Nov. 2, 2002, and Sydney will be at her brightest and brashest, celebrating life and life-style with her own inimitable vivacity.

Oz Cover Boy Contest
is a Sizzler of Hot Bods

Cover Boy 2002 was one of the most anticipated events hosted by Dance and Show Bar of the Year, Oz. The contest selects the cover model of the 2002 Oz Calendar, which benefits New Orleans Alliance of Pride each year. The field of 11 hot hunks which were previous monthly winners competed for $1,500 in cash and prizes.

Calendar Boy hostess Lisa Beaumann emceed the exciting evening of festivities. Contestants were judged in casual wear, swimsuit and sensual/dance techniques. In this last category of competition, the guys stripped down practically bare to perform their enticing gyrations on the judges and audience.

The judges certainly had a difficult time since the competition this year was so hot and so stiff. Contestants included Gawain, Joseph, Matthew, Rusty, Richard, Terry, Shawn, Jason, Aaron, Brandon and Eli. Beautiful contestant #1 Gawain was chosen Cover Boy and received $500 cash from Oz, $500 cash from Glazer's [Beefeater, Kahlua and Sauza], and $500 in prizes from Miller Lite including a handsome leather jacket. First runner-up was contestant #4 Rusty. As part of the prize package, each of the contestants who returned for this final contest received $250 cash.

Judges included Miller Lite's Valerie Landry and Jennifer Lalumia, Glazer's LJ Hunt, Corner Pocket's Michael Elias and newly crowned Miss Jumbo, Blanche Debris, appearing as Kevin Charpentier.

NO/AIDS Walk/Run Raises $125,000

Some 2,500 walkers and 150 runners joined the 12th annual NO/AIDS Walk raising $125,000. Benefiting the NO/AIDS Task Force, funds generated provide critical services including HIV testing, a statewide HIV/AIDS hotline, community education and outreach, food pantry, meal delivery services, mental health and HIV counseling, support groups, housing coordination, case management and primary care for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

New this year was the Run. Eric Tucker took top male overall while Santilla Victorian took top female overall.

Top individual walker for the ninth year went to Rip Naquin-Delain raising $9,700 with 186 sponsors.

Mega Team went to Gap, Inc., with Super Team going to Banana Republic and Top Team to Robert's Fresh Market Fare/St. Claude Ave.

UNO took home the Chancellor's Cup as top college while Ursuline Academy took home the Principal's Cup as top high school. The new Fabulous Show Contest went to Mike Hymel, portrayed as the Australian Crocodile Wrestler.

For more information on the NO/AIDS Task Force call 504.821.2601 or visit www.crescentcity.com/noaids.

Pansies & Dirt

It was off to the St. Louis St. strip for a visit with Michael & Jay's home of boys, boys and more boys. Yes, we're talking about world famous Corner Pocket and their stable of hot dancers. However, we were out early afternoon and had to settle for Dave and Ashley, not on the bartop, but behind the bar slingin' cocktails. One of the Corner Pocket's friends popped in from Thibodaux with a bag full of homemade beef jerky and sausage. Well that made the gang here mighty happy as Dallas, Jay, Michael, Dave and Ashley enjoyed the eats. The sample we tasted sure put any store bought jerky and sausage we'd had previously to shame.

A short walk landed us at the Double Play just as Robert was getting off - of work that is. Bartender Jerry was just getting behind the bar, so we got our seats and enjoyed a few vinos with Doc, who's been quite busy since Chuck and Bill have been doing a little traveling. Regulars Glenn and Moses were telling one of their bits on the latest gossip trivia around the Financial District. If anything is going on around the clubs, these two celebs would know. And what afternoon would be complete without Marcy Marcell arriving just in time to play with her latest boy toy - Mr. Video Poker.

Of course, what trip to St. Louis St. would be complete without popping into Le Roundup. The vivacious Jackie Mae was doin' the honors here and she had quite a crowd of party boys. Even her own roomy Miss Ridall was in the house after just getting back from a trip to Orlando. Off duty bartender Chuck was entertaining Kenny and Matt. Some of the Petunias gang including Drewsy and Miss Hotard were belly up to the bar after a hard day at the restaurant.

Next day brought us to the last weekend blowout of Swamp Fest at Audubon Zoo. It was supposed to be a downpour so our first stop was the gift shop for colorful (and perhaps nelly) umbrellas. While enjoying authentic Cajun music, we sampled smoked boudin, cracklings, alligator kabob, fried green tomatoes and crab cakes topped with crawfish sauce. Then we decided to look at the arts and crafts. The rain started coming down so we headed on over to the Louisiana Swamp exhibit. On our way there we heard this really loud grunting. As we got closer to the sound we found one of those giant male tortoises mating with a much smaller female one. This little kid was telling his mother, "Look mommy, he's riding that turtle." Mommy grabbed the child by the arm and whisked him away. The crowd which had gathered to watch the festivities got a good laugh and moved on to the Swamp exhibit, just in time to see the feeding of the white alligators.

To dry off we headed back to the Quarter and the Golden Lantern. Ted was slingin' cocktails for Ms. Verona, Scooter and us. As the rain continued to pour, we got all hootched and after a couple of hours headed on back to 828.

Sunday would come along for a world wind afternoon extravaganza beginning with the Krewe of Petronius's annual Oktoberfest blowout. It started at Voodoo with a mega buffet of German specialties. Smurf was slingin' cocktails for the festivities and we got seats right next to three of Petronius' most avid supporters - Pat, Sylvia and John John. Pat and Sylvia filled us in on their latest trip and last year's holiday excursion to Paris for Christmas and New Year's with Marty and Koo. Petronius also hosted its silent auction here. On N. Rampart between Voodoo and Ninth Circle, the krewe set up their sidewalk sale. Ninth Circle was the venue for the huge dessert bar. Here we ran into an interesting menage a trois - Clint, Symone and Bianca. It was a lovely sight.

Then it was off to see David, who many of you will remember as Miss Concern from the one and only stage performance in his career at Footloose. David slings cocktails on Wed., Sat. and Sun. at TT's, home of Clifford and Lady Charles' Big Meat male danseurs. David also keeps company with another one of our favorite bartenders, Ted, over at the Golden Lantern, affectionately known as Miss Cow-Vicky.

Next up was our return to Bourbon St. to see how Football Sunday was going for Jacque at Club 735. Brent was slingin' cocktails here and just after we arrived, the lovely lush Estelle popped in from Voodoo with a care package for the fellas from the mega Petronius buffet. Eric and Lane were setting up the club's new big screen TV with a DVD player for that evening's movie night.

We decided to head on down to the Parade to see what was happening at Tea Dance. The boys and girls here were just gearing up for the festivities, many doing that beer bust thing. Jon and Yvette were slingin' cocktails. Downstairs we stopped just in time to see slutty Paloma scold a straight couple for making out ..."What's the matter with ya'll? Don't ya'll know this is a Gay bar? Hellllloooo!!!!" Yes, Paloma will add a little zest to any situation.

Monday finally arrived and we were off to Cowpokes to catch the latest dirt on the Party scandal. The producer pulled the plug on the show from a very safe distance in California. Apparently, and allegedly, a lot of hanging wallpaper had something to do with it. But, the good news is the cast and the writer were able to get home even though rumors are flying about non-payment of their salaries. It is a shame 'cause the actors in the play were marvelous, making appearances at many New Orleans fund-raisers including the Charity High Heel Pool Tournament, and even raising $250 for the NO/AIDS Walk.

A short drive brought us to Blake Miller's beautiful Country Club. Manager Mike tells us the heated pool is being fired up for use during the fall and winter months. The club is also beginning a whole week of special nightly activities. Check with Mike or visit their Web site at countryclubneworleans.com. New fall/winter hours include Sat., Sun. and Mon. 11am-1am; and Tues.-Fri. 4pm-1am.

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