CHATSWORTH, Calif.—It's been the talk of Porn Valley for a few weeks now, but for those without an ear to the porn ground, award-winning director Kelly Holland is hosting "Vice Is Nice," a gala benefit for orphaned and unwanted animals on Saturday, July 23, at her ranch at 10945 Old Santa Susana Pass Road—and it's likely that everyone who's anyone in the San Fernando Valley-based adult industry will be there.
"Last year was the first annual, and it was very successful," Holland told AVN. "We had about 500 people there; we expect double that this time, but 500 didn't even feel like a drop in the bucket, so we're going to see what happens this year."
The cause is one that's dear to Holland's heart, and one she's been involved with for more than a decade.
"I have a ranch," she explained, "and so for me, animals increase to fill the space allotted; it became natural that animals would get dumped there, whatever, and I went looking for some help, and that's how I found Life4Paws and Valley Cats many years ago, and I started volunteering for them. But it also seems, for whatever reason, there are a lot of people in adult that are heavily involved in their own animals and also in rescue. Dyanna Lauren is very heavily involved in rescue; Julia Ann, very heavily involved; Melissa Monet, very heavily involved. We used to have an organization here at Penthouse called 'Pets 4 Pets,' and that was started years and years ago by Dyanna Lauren and Leslie Glass, who passed away from breast cancer, and I remember them having that organization and thinking, 'What a great idea!' I've always liked that, and I've always found a sympathetic ear when I talked to anybody inside adult; they're all very animal-aware, animal-friendly; many of them are into rescue one way or another, so it seemed natural to put all those elements together... plus I was looking for an excuse to have a party."
And it's going to be one hell of a bash! For the gamblers in the crowd, there will be a professional poker tournament, run by people who arrange such tournaments professionally, with what's basically a $40 buy-in, which can be done online or at the door. And for those who aren't seasoned players, there will be a professional poker class 30 minutes before the tournament starts.
"I strongly, strongly recommended that you preregister," Holland cautioned. "You don't have to pay when you preregister, but if you preregister, the ticket at the door is $10 cheaper. It's going to be $15 for general admission if you preregister; $25 at the door, and you get some free vouchers that you can use for either drinks, food or casino chips, so it's a good deal if you preregister. Likewise, the tournament is $55 if you preregister, $65 at the door, and preregistration is the best way to insure there'll be room at the table."
And what will tournament winners get?
"The first prize is a big 52" flat screen TV; second prize is a $250 gift certificate to Best Buy, and third prize is a $125 Best Buy certificate," Holland noted. "But if you get there and you haven't registered and/or want to upgrade to the poker tournament, we'll make those accommodations."
But the tournament is only a small (albeit important) part of the event.
"Director Erica McLean will be reading tarot cards, which she did for us last year, for a donation—no suggested donation, just whatever you want to donate for your reading—but you have to get there early for Erica, because there's a sign-in sheet and she can only take about 20 people over the course of the night, so you've got to get there early if you want Erica McLean to actually read your tarot cards," Holland said. "There are two strolling magicians who are great, who do amazing sleight of hand, and lastly, we're setting up a booth with a camera, and I've gotten four of our photographers in the business to donate an hour and a half of their time each, and they'll be doing photos with adult stars, and will print them out on the spot and the adult star can autograph them for you for a suggested donation of $10 or $20. You can have your 8x10 photo taken with a porn star and autographed by her ... or go have your own picture taken with your wife if you care to, but the photo booth will be set up for that."
But those who do want to gamble but don't want to take part in the tournament can find enjoyments there as well: Blackjack, roulette, craps, and even smaller tables for one-off poker games ... and then there's the food!
"There are people making 500 tamales—vegetarian, beef, chicken; there's people making 500 empanadas, also beef, chicken and vegetarian; there's a person just doing pastries and sweets at the party, so there's going to be plenty of food," Holland detailed. "Budweiser is donating beer; there's also mixed drinks—there will be three bars at the party. There's also a DJ and a dance floor, and for people who just need to take a break, my living room and library are being converted into the 'Chillax Lounge,' and there's going to be a piano player/singer there, Jeffrey Toser, who's doing like 1940s lounge lizard standards, and he's really good. He's got a radio show on Sirius XM called Swank."
But though Holland laughs about the event being an excuse for a good party, she's well aware, from personal experience, that all the money raised will be going to top-notch rescue organizations.
"I've been involved with these two rescues for about five years," Holland said. "I think they're incredibly strong, dedicated, focused rescues operating out of the Valley—I'll even say they're two of the best rescues, actually, in the city of L.A. Both of these rescues do adoptions at PetSmart and Fallbrook Mall on the weekends, but that's not all they do. Valley Cats, for example, has a great program called 'compassionate care' where they offer, for low income people or people who are struggling but have pets with medical needs, who are faced with the horrible choice of putting their animal down because they don't have the money to do whatever the necessary healthcare is, when Valley Cats money in the compassionate care bank account—and this fundraiser is going to go a long way to trying to put some money in that bank account—when they have money in the bank account of compassionate care, then they offer to subsidize some part or all of a vet bill, and they also go in and try to negotiate with vets to try to get the bills down to make it possible for whatever necessary healthcare has to happen or needs to happen."
"Also, one of the big problems, particularly in the Valley, because we have a lot of warehouse districts and industrial zones, are feral cats who have litter after litter after litter of kittens and those kittens have litter after litter, all of which have to scrounge food and do mousing and all of that," she continued. "Feral cats are incredibly important to the eco-system because they do keep the rodent population down, but when they get out of control, as they are wont to do, then they get sick, they die really miserable deaths, and where we come into that chain is, people will catch the kittens before they're completely feral and then bring them to us and say, 'Here, can you find them homes?' I mean, we're swimming in kittens right now. I would say Valley Cats probably has 16 kittens for adoption. So in order to try to break that cycle, and also to break the cycle of all of those feral cats and kittens ending up at the shelter where they're euthanized, they also have people who volunteer and they do TNR: Trap, neuter and release. I've been along with them when they've done it; I've gone out and done it. You go out at midnight or 2 in the morning, or 4 in the morning and you set traps under bridges and in the backs of warehouses and you catch those feral cats and you take them at 8 o'clock or 9 o'clock in the morning to a sympathetic local vet, or there's a couple of organizations in town that will do it at no cost or low cost, and you get them spayed or neutered, and then release them at midnight back out into the population, but then you break that cycle of kittens and kittens and kittens and kittens. So they're doing all of that work and doing it very successfully."
"Life4Paws, which is primarily a dog rescue, although they do do some horses and goats and chickens and whatever comes across their path, is one of the most effective dog rescues I've ever seen. Their adoption numbers are very high; they're very good at what they do, and they're so good that they will at times take animals from other rescue organizations that are getting overwhelmed— animals that would have been euthanized that day if they weren't pulled out. So they also have a great program where they have a sister organization up in Oregon, and they transport animals up there and do adoptions out of Oregon to get more animals into more homes. They do incredible work."
Besides the money raised on gambling, food sales and donations, there's one last fundraising method attendees can partake in: The raffles.
"Once you're in, you can buy raffle tickets—and we have great raffles: some amazing art from artists down in Mexico, that donated a huge, beautiful canvas; there's a Hustler package and a Hustler Casino package, there's some adult packages with Penthouse swag, DVDs and stuff, and also a lot of mainstream stuff that's been donated. You can also buy little white tickets you can trade for drinks, food, casino chips, whatever."
Sponsors for the event include some of the biggest names in adult entertainment, including 101 Modeling, Adam & Eve, AVN, DVD Factory (formerly L&M), Exquisite Multimedia, Exile Distribution, Girlfriends Films, Hustler Casino, LA Direct Models, Sssh.com, SPF Duplication, Spiegler Girls, actress Ryan Keely, 10 Channel Canada, Vivid Entertainment, Wicked Pictures and Xbiz.
Bottom line: How can you afford to miss the biggest adult entertainment charity event of the year?!?
For more information (especially about the parking arrangements), and to preregister, just go to Life4Paws.org, or phone 888-351-2527.