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Friday, January 7, 2011

A group of gay dads hopes to raise awareness and offer support to others like themselves

The Pop Luck Club, a non-profit organization that supports gay fathers throughout Southern California hopes to raise awareness, support and understanding for gay fathers and their families with the launch of its “Raise a Child” ad campaign. The campaign also aims to help dads and prospective dads as they explore the many routes to creating families, including surrogacy, fostering and adoption. The campaign includes radio PSAs and bus shelter ads featuring family portraits of its members.
The ad campaign hopes to reduce stigma around gay parenting. “We make lunches for our kids, get them to music and karate lessons… just like every family,” says Richard Valenza, co-president of the Pop Luck Club. He adds, “With this campaign, we are putting a real face on gay parenting.”
Since its founding in 1998, the Pop Luck Club has grown from a handful of fathers to over 500 members. It facilitates monthly “pot luck” play dates, discussions and support groups, online resources and news groups, family events and mentorship programs for prospective fathers.

Who We Are


In August of 1998, founder Paul Oberon and a small group of men in southern California began to gather on a regular basis, intending to establish an outlet for gay fathers and their children. Their mission was to create a sense of community, not only where children could interact with gay parent role models in a comfortable setting, but also where fathers (and prospective fathers) could have a forum to discuss the unique problems faced by their subculture. The hope was that these gatherings would help provide mutual support in their individual quests to become great fathers.
The meetings quickly grew in size. Each gathering included a potluck meal, where families shared their favorite recipes along with their personal experiences of gay parenting.
Today, The Pop Luck Club (PLC) has blossomed into the largest known gay fathers organization in the world, with hundreds of families and strong continued growth. As an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, PLC produces special community events, such as our annual “Kids’ Fun Fair,” and co-sponsors other events, such as “Families In The Desert” with The Family Equality Council. While we have retained the simple tradition of each member sharing food and stories, The Pop Luck Club has evolved into a substantial voice, helping to support the growth of our wonderfully diverse community.

Mission Statement

The mission of The Pop Luck Club is to advance the well being of gay prospective parents, gay parents and their children. We do this through mutual support, community collaboration, and public understanding. Look to us for the following information and guidance:
If you’re considering becoming a parent, we’re here to help provide you with information on:
  1. adoption
  2. co-parenting
  3. fostering
  4. surrogacy
  5. other means of creating families
If you already have children, we’re here to help you:
  1. facilitate social interaction
  2. develop mentoring relationships
  3. share positive images of gay parenting with the community at large

Our Board Members - 2011

The Pop Luck Club has an 10 member volunteer Board of Directors:
  • Mark Brown - Treasurer
  • John Crabtree-Ireland
  • Jeff Hall
  • Fracaswell Hyman - Co-President
  • Andrew Rakos
  • Bill Steinberg - Secretary
  • Rich Valenza - Co-President
  • Bill Walker
  • Steve Zikman
  • Tony Zimbardi

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