Atlanta, June 14, 1998.....

Four Longtime friends, (Chuck Jenkins, Chesley Thurman, John Jeffrey, Rick Westbrook) are invited to a backyard party to celebrate the independence of this great nation. But there was a twist, it seemed that the Host/ess of the soiree, David Sanford, wanted several guests to perform a drag show for the crowd. This was to be a celebration of independence to express ourselves as we choose, even if it was out of the norm.

Not sure how this would be perceived but always up for a challenge, the four headed out to the local haunts that could outfit them in the styles that they felt would be appropriate. Several outfits, many shoes, jewelry and even more WIGS later, everything was in place.

Chuck a.k.a. Rococo Baroque and John a.k.a. Prissy Cilla performed numbers along with several other members of the party. Chesley a.k.a. Dina Daintymouth, although dressed to the drag nines watched and cheered from the sidelines. Rick a.k.a. Shenitta Lott, help out back stage as gopher/dragboy.

The show was a huge success, people starting tipping a lot of money and it was decided that PALS would be the recipient of all the proceeds and that this would be donated anonymously each year. This continued each year with the show, tip pot, and the crowd growing and growing. Each performer was doing a couple of number and the four friends Chuck / Chesley / John / Rick decided to do a production number – Moulin Rouge. David Sanford, announced to the crowd that the group was from the Southside, some little burb called East Point and he had dubbeb them the EAST POINT POSSUMS, because possums only come out at night. The music started, the crowd roared, the number was a HUGE success, an encore was done, the name stuck and history was made.

By the sixth year, everything had grown to the point that:

  • July was too hot of a month to do Drag outdoors, so the date was changed to the Saturday before Gay Pride

  • The backyard could no longer accommodate the large crowd

  • The monies were of such an amount that it was impossible to donate anonymously.

  • The host David Sanford asked if he could pass the torch over to the Possums, since a lot of the crowd was coming from there anyway. Well, once again not being ones to shy away from a challenge, we stepped up and moved it to DOWNTOWN EAST POINT!

A lot has changed since that faithful day in 1998:

  •  For the past 20 years, we have raised tens of thousands of dollars for several organizations in Atlanta.

  •  Now, after more than a decade we have one of the most well attended drag shows in the southeast and have decided to reach out to other non-profits.

  •  One of our 4 founding members passed away in 2004, and now the group and community performs in his honor, continuing the legacy of supporting worthy local nonprofits.

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