LA Nightlife Gives It Up (for Charity)

It’s the time of the year when the charity events really start popping. This week we’ve got two, one more serious than the other — but both are just as worth of your hard-earned cash. Ryan Heffington and hid Sweaty Sundays crew are up to some hijinks; this weekend, members of the dance class (as well as Heffington’s more experienced pro dancers) are putting on a benefit show at the Bootleg Theatre. The proceeds are promising to go toward “future endeavors.” We know Mr. Heffington is hoping to follow in Richard Simmons’ footsteps and film his own DVD, all in aid of getting a studio space he can call his own — for dancing and film screenings, gatherings, and more. Sweat it out with the sweaty crew Thursday through Sunday at 8pm, 2220 Beverly Blvd. Tickets can be grabbed here.

Tis also the season of high-profile musicians lending a helping hand to the needy. First, we had Billy Corgan chipping in; now we have Black Francis (Frank Black) of Pixies fame throwing his considerable indie cred and celebrity weight behind a cause that is personal to him and his wife, Violet Clark: baby Winston Bertrand.

With a set by Francis and special guest appearances by members of the Pixies, Love & Rockets, She Wants Revenge, as well as Flea, Weird Al Yankovich, Michael Penn, the 88 and Grand Duchy, this Winston person must be pretty important. Winston was born this year in February with lymphatic and veinous malformations; he requires near round-the-clock specialized care and has large cysts in his face and neck. He breathes and eats through tubes.

How did Winston and the indie rock elite come into contact? Francis’ wife Violet was a fan of HGTV’s Design Star show, which Winston’s mom Jen had competed on and won. But after her own show failed to materialize, Clark reached out to Winston’s mom and asked about the development of her show. Eventually Jen told Clark about Winston.

Clark tells me, “It came out that she’d had a baby — not just a baby, but a baby with some heart-wrenching medical issues. Then, I saw the pictures of Winston with his little trach tube and the cysts which swell up in his adorable baby cheeks, on her Facebook page … I was both gutted by his intense challenges, and also smitten with his profound cuteness.” Clark decided to help by founding Winston’s Village, and began developing the benefit. The show are two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday) at the Echo. Tickets are a mere $20. Check out these sites for more information about Baby Winston.

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