Shadi joins outpouring of support for Gilda’s Club; Talker gets thumbs down.

Shadi joins outpouring of support for Gilda’s Club; Talker gets thumbs down.

[Editor’s note: He might be good looking, a philosophy professor and a musician, but where is his gonzo magazine? [Photo: Natalie Sinisgalli]I went to the 7th Annual Gilda’s Guys Auction, an annual bachelor auction to benefit Gilda’s Club Rochester. ]

I eagerly attended as I was “on assignment,” (so exciting!) by my new editor and creator of Talker of the Town, David Kramer, and especially because the event was supporting a cause dear to my heart, cancer research and awareness.

Gildas three

Editor’s note. Sure, he has a great smile, good conversational skill and a positive attitude. But not yet a seasoned man of the world. [Photo: Natalie Sinisgalli]

I have a family member who was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2012 and was the sole support system through the process. Given her very private nature it was the two of us, imagine the anxiety in the waiting room for a seven hour surgery.

I have always supported cancer education and research and been puzzled about causes, especially given my family member’s incredibly clean vegetarian and raw diet, overall healthy and very active lifestyle and zero family history of the disease.  Her resilience, toxic humor and strength were truly inspiring as is with anyone tackling this disease.

Speaking to Amy Button, one of three Chairs of the event, “guys” are recruited in January each year via social media and interviewed and rated for conversational skills, their connection to a great cause, positive attitude and smiles. More than half of Gilda committee members are former bachelors wanting to stay involved and finding themselves committed to the cause. The bidding women win a date package worth over $400 including gift cards for fine dining restaurants, complimentary massages, spa packages, makeovers, tickets to sporting events, magazine subscriptions, gym memberships and more!FullSizeRender

Every year I donate $500 to causes promoting cancer education and research but didn’t realize this year’s donation would coincide with “purchasing” a hunky Bachelor of Rochester as I was soaring with rapture of the event. As for the bachelors, they were fine representatives of Rochester manhood.

The facts spoke for themselves. 15 out of 26 were in their 30s or older. Professionals: a research assistant, personal trainer, attorney, CPA director, publicist, professor and more were just a few of the titles. All with diverse range of hobbies from cooking, to playing guitar, fishing and working out. And all ready to present with break dancing, flexing, costumes or a simple smile on the runway as they captured the attention of bidding bachelorettes.


Canvassing for votes on the runway. (left) Amy Porter who will be rooting all the way for her Notre Dame Irish tonight. As a Wisconsin alum, I’ll be cheering for the Badgers.

Canvassing the bachelorettes, all good sports for a good cause, I learned, unsurprisingly, to a woman, they concurred YES, nice eye candy. At the same time, lustiness aside,  almost all of the women I spoke with had been closely touched by cancer and many had seen the miracle of remission. While the date with their chosen guy would be fun, I could tell raising money was the greater satisfaction. Feeling the exact sentiment, as the first bachelor took the stage, I began to handicap the rest of the runway models up for auction.

I made careful notations on my scorecard, weighing manly attributes, remembering one bachelor I interviewed backstage beforehand, Brad Cohen, 38 years old and a Philosophy professor at Alfred University, business owner, world traveller and guitarist who humbly stated he was too busy fundraising the greatest amount raised by any bachelor that night, $3,000.00 (no big deal).

He had no elaborate plans on stage but was sincerely there for the cause. As I raised my #166 to make my bids (quite the competition I had for this guy!) I was thinking about my family member and that toxic humor, she would want the money donated like this. It was money more than well spent.


Shadi and Brad backstage

As I was escorted behind stage where I received my first rose, I noticed my editor, David Kramer was here, showing his support or lack thereof. He finally did a practice bachelor trial on the runway and the results were encouraging. Three comely bachelorettes jockeyed to make the highest bid. Better luck next time David! But I do appreciate your support as your rookie journalist takes over covering stories.

GildasGuys-2016 thumbs down

Hey, it’s only the first primary. These aren’t my “base voters” anyway. (left to right) Carolena Cappuccio, Linda Vitale and Kattie Davidson [Photo: Natalie Sinisgalli]

I may still be a prisoner of love, not knowing where my date with Brad will lead, but it will all be worth it to support everyone at Gilda’s who worked so hard to give us a great time for a cause so worthy.

Editor’s note; Three of the photos (can you guess which ones?) were kindly taken and donated by Shadi’s friend Natalie Sinisgalli of

Recently, Natalie and Shadi did a boudoir project, Real Women of Rochester  As Shadi says,Ladies get your boudoir shoots done with Natalie!”
giklda lightened

Hey, it’s just a caucus. Anyway they aren’t my “core constituency” voters. [Photo: Shadi]


I hereby take the Sherman Pledge: “If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve.” [Photo: Shadi]


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About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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