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September 2015 Newsletter

Our 2015 Celebration is over and has proven to be the best one yet.

Everyone seemed to enjoy their visit and time with our special guest Ed Asner along with the entertainment provided by The Orlando Gay Men's Chorus, the Madonna impersonator and the group Beatlebeat. 


The informative Medicare presentation by Gary Kempler ( was well received, and he has written a letter for all to read, which can be seen by clicking here

Everyone seemed to enjoy the screenings of Flavio Alves' "Tom in America" ( 

The documentary of one of our most beloved ACOF founders, Father John J. McNeill's "Taking A Chance on God" ( was also well received. Father John and Charlie Chiarelli weren't able to make the Celebration due to illness. However, here's a picture of John and Charlie celebrating the good Father's 90th birthday last week. 

Many attendees left with some great shirts and swim trunks from our vendor, Bearwear ( 

We have also received some great comments on private pool time and visits to the theme parks.

Thank you for attending this year's Celebration and allowing us to share time with you, while creating new memories and experiences.  

Please Note: The Orlando DoubleTree Hotel is under new ownership and currently undergoing renovation. Consequently, at this time we are unsure of the date of the next Celebration. However, we have received many invitations to host the Celebration in several different cities: Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Key West, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Palm Springs and San Diego. 

Along with that, we need more input from you:

  • Where would you like for the 2016 Celebration to be held?
  • When would you like the 2016 Celebration to be? 
  • What celebrity guest would you enjoy meeting at the 2016 Celebration?
  • What can we do to make your Celebration better in 2016?

Either send your answers by replying to this email, or by going to the ACOF website and then answering the survey.

The 2015 Celebration gallery is up! Click here to see how much fun we had. 

If you haven't already, please make sure to sign up to receive this free monthly newsletter. You can sign up on the ACOF website

Remember to be kind and love & respect each other. 

Lots & Lots of Love, 

A Celebration of Friends, Inc.

June 2015 Newsletter

What are we going to do Mr. Asner?

Ed Asner
What does a person do when the one person they always dreamed of meeting, agrees to a date?

What do the thousands of people who’ve attended the past thirteen Celebrations do when the one person they voted they most wanted to meet at a Celebration agrees to attend?

Well, take this one off your “bucket list”: Highly Honored and Legendary actor Ed Asner will be our special guest at the 2015 A Celebration of Friends weekend.

Mr. Asner has won more Emmy Awards for performing than any other male actor and in 1996, was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. See, ask and discover from the man himself all about his life and career.

2015 ACOF Weekend
July 16–20 Hotel Information

Host Hotel:
The Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Seaworld
10100 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32821

Make your reservations by clicking on the link in the upper right-hand corner on our website: or by calling 407-352-1100 (make sure you tell them you’re with A Celebration of Friends).

We're taking over the entire east wing of the hotel with our own private pool and business area. Don't wait, make those reservations now – rooms are going quickly!

While staying at the Doubletree Hotel, registered ACOF guests will receive these benefits:

  • High Speed Internet
  • Daily Full American Breakfast Buffet
  • Daily Full Open Bar and Happy Hour
  • Daily Shuttle Service to Disney World, Universal Orlando and Sea World
  • Daily Access to our "Private Movie Screenings", Pool Parties and Entertainment on Hotel grounds.
  • Daily Discounted $5 Self-Parking
  • ...and most importantly, the opportunity to meet, mingle and spend time with mature gay men from around the world.


Remember, the A Celebration of Friends weekend is YOUR weekend.

That's why we constantly seek your ideas and input to make each celebration better than the last. It was you who let us know which celebrity guest to get this year, so please take a few seconds and let us know how we're doing.

Complete the survey located on the bottom of The Event page on the website or click here:

Just sign into your account to complete the survey. Make sure you’re registered first! All information shared is completely confidential.

Remember – we have some outstanding events planned this year:

FRIDAY NIGHT is our Hawaiian Hula Skirt Dancing contest, so start getting your skirts and dance moves ready!

We will also be screening several movies:

THURSDAY NIGHT - We'll be screening the short film “Tom In America” by writer-director Flavio Alves, starring Academy Award nominees Burt Young and Sally Kirkland.

Winner Best LGBT Short Film at the Cleveland International Film Festival.

Winner Best Short Film at the 30th edition of the Torino Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. (TIA’ first international award.)TIA’ first international award.

Winner Best Short Film at the San Diego Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

FRIDAY NIGHT - The documentary “Taking a Chance on God” the life and times of Father John McNeill founder of Dignity New York and one of the founding fathers of A Celebration of Friends. Father John and his partner Charles Chiarelli will be present to answer your questions.

FRIDAY NIGHT is also our Hawaiian Hula Skirt Dancing contest, so start getting your skirts and dance moves ready!

FRIDAY NIGHT - Ed Asner look-a-like contest – winner will receive one-on-on time with Ed for photos and conversation

SATURDAY NIGHT - is Ed Asner Night – He will attend a Q&A at 7PM in the Ontario Room. (Special note: Mr. Asner will be around for a couple of days and during most of that time, he’s got his freedom. If you cross paths, please show him all the respect and honor you would normally give an honored guest.)

There will be a private dinner over the weekend with Mr. Asner, our Board, qualified sponsors & vendors, and lucky event winners during the weekend. For information, please contact Tomcat at

SUNDAY NIGHT - is our Closing Ceremony where we put the 2015 A Celebration of Friends weekend to bed. So Sunday night will also be the night for our traditional Pajama Party. Make sure you dress appropriately with your teddy bear and PJs. (ACOF Teddybears will be available for purchase during the Celebration.)

Free popcorn will be available at all screenings.

A Couple of Reminders:

  • Book your room SOON, they’re going fast.
  • If you are having any difficulty getting registered or booking your room for this year’s Celebration, send an email to Remember: When you book your room, make sure you say you’re with “A Celebration of Friends” to get the special room rates; Give the hotel all your special requests at this time.
  • Day passes for this year’s Celebration include access to the pool, our movie screenings and nightly entertainment, but does not include the daily breakfast buffet or Happy Hour.
  • If you are considering getting your room through Expedia or any other discount change, BE AWARE: you will not be eligible for the daily buffet breakfast or Happy Hour and will have to pay the regular parking fee, so getting your room through the hotel is the best deal!
  • Lastly – once more, if you see Mr. Asner enjoying the sights or in the pool at the Double Tree, please be respectful and give him his space – remember, he is our guest.

Looking forward to seeing you all at the Double Tree on July 16 – 19 for this year’s Celebration!!

April 2013 Newsletter

Sixty-seven percent of gay seniors in the U.S. live alone, twice the proportion of their straight peers, and ninety percent have no children. (Source - SAGE)

51 percent of LGBT have yet to complete wills or living wills spelling out their long term care and end-of-life wishes. (Source: MetLife Mature Market Institute)

ACOF yearly has a workshop at the Celebration in June getting your affairs in order on. Please, please, please, protect your loved ones and make sure your affairs are in order. (It's not always the older in a relationship that passes on.)

It's already into the fourth month of 2013 and I am sure that many of you have made a few resolutions  . . . and perhaps already broken some of them. This year is going fast so the A Celebration of Friends staff wishes you an enjoyable remainder of 2013. We ask each of you to remember our motto We're all in this together . . .and together we can make a difference!"
Please help me with my new year resolutions for 2013: as I want to:

1.  Learn the first names and spend time getting to know all who attend the Celebration and Cruise.

2. Strive to have the best possible Celebration ever!!! (Been doing my best for twelve years but still need your help!)

    a.  Activities are now being planned for this years Celebration. Please let me know what activities you would like to see/participate in/watch this year! 
3.  Stop trying to find the perfect partner. Instead, try to become the perfect partner. 

4. Continue to say "I love you"  . . . and mean it!

5. Drink more water. 

6. Find the best people for the Board of the ACOF and AHOF and utilize them to their fullest potential.

7.  Be a kinder person. 

8Keep believing in my ideals and myself while continuing to try to make the world a better place!

It has taken over three years, but during the first week of December 2012, the A Habitat of Friends had its first board meeting (away from the ACOF). We have sent the necessary paperwork to the state to form a charitable 501(c) organization. A Board was voted in and by-laws were adopted. Our next meeting was set up for January and we were planning on having a commercial realtor talk to the Board so we could begin to form our concept of what exactly we were attempting to do in regards to forming a low-cost Gay Retirement Community. Then, newly elected vice president (John Szabocsik) passed from cancer on Christmas eve.  

We need every one's help on this much need campaign.

Registration for the ACOF weekend and reservations for the hotel can be made conveniently on our website. http://www.celebrationoffriends.orgBy pre-registering for the convention, you will avoid long lines when you arrive at the hotel. Tell your friends about the Celebration and PLEASE provide them our website address. Send it to the various sites where you are listed. Word of mouth is a great way to inform the gay community of our wonderful Celebration Meeting... it is the largest of its kind for senior gay men and their admirers in the WORLD!!.  
A Celebration of Friends weekend is still the greatest bargain event and one of the least expensive conventions for gay mature men and their admirers IN THE WORLD!!!  Rooms are $101 nightly for two people or $111 for three \-four people.  (It could cost less than $30.00 per person per night in a three or four person room and imagine how COZY that could be!!!)  The registration fee of $85 price includes a full American breakfast daily, a $5 nightly parking fee, free bus shuttles nightly, a hour happy hour every day, entertainment every night and twenty-four hours of freedom and frolicking with nearly eight hundred hundred good old friends from the USA and around the world. Come join us again this year, it can change your life FOREVER!