San Francisco organization hosts biggest Oscar party north of Hollywood

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Academy of Friends started 39-years ago as a small Oscar night party for 25 people who loved the movies. Over the years, the party grew and became one of the largest fundraisers for HIV and AIDS service organizations in the Bay Area, now hosting a thousand guests at The Metreon in San Francisco.

"It is a good time for a great cause," said State Senator, Scott Wiener, who has been a regular at the Oscars party for 20 years, which has helped the Academy raise almost $8.9 million.

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"It raises so much money to help people living with HIV and to help people who are negative, stay negative," said Wiener.

This year's theme was a sequin-filled version of 'under the sea,' complete with Neptune himself and fabulous dancing fish.

Drag Queen, Kylie Minono, spared no time, turning her drag persona into a mermaid.

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"Starting to out the doors, it's a couple hours," said Minono who wore a teal wig and matching makeup, complete with rhinestones and fish scales.

In true San Francisco form, some used their look to make a statement about more than just fashion.

"I was inspired by our consumerism," said C.B. Potter, who made his bespoke gown out of his own trash. "It would be a great fantasy for us to live in a world without trash in the ocean."

And San Francisco resident, Monica Smith, proved that vintage glam can be for bargain hunters.

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"It's a great find. I got it at a garage sale, a local garage sale," exclaimed Smith, as she twirled around in her black and gold paillette gown, complete with a built-in cape, that cost $25.

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