Did security at Harrah's pool harass gay patrons?

JOE FUCCI Marc Summers (right) hooked up his buddy, chef Marc Vetri (second from left), with a $2,500 donation to the Vetri Foundation, which promotes healthy eating to children.
JOE FUCCI Marc Summers (right) hooked up his buddy, chef Marc Vetri (second from left), with a $2,500 donation to the Vetri Foundation, which promotes healthy eating to children.
Posted: July 25, 2014

B RAD HURTADO, the organizer of gay weekend getaway Sand Blast, sent out an email yesterday saying that the people of Atlantic City were no problem for the massive three-day event, but the security at Harrah's during a Sunday party called Riptide were not as kind.

"Their aggressive behavior and homophobic comments to some of our guests really damaged what was a great day at Riptide and I won't stand by and let them get away with it," Hurtado wrote.

Hurtado asked for attendees to supply any other documented examples of harassment.

This year's Sand Blast was the first time the weekend was held in Atlantic City. Previously, it had been held in Asbury Park, but was moved after a price increase from vendors.

When asked to comment further, Hurtado declined. A rep from Harrah's did not return requests for comment.

Hurtado added in the email that he has spoken with " Don Guardian, the gay mayor of Atlantic City, Jeff Guaracino, the gay VP of the Atlantic City Alliance and Larry Sieg, the gay VP of marketing for the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority about this and they, like me, are disgusted by what some of the security staff said and did."

Hurtado closed the email by apologizing to attendees about the experience. "Even in a world where so many of us have witnessed such great strides in acceptance in recent years, there remain plenty of pockets of hate that must be rooted out and exposed," Hurtado wrote. "Our work is not done and our acceptance is not complete, but together we can continue to make amazing strides when we speak out."

A Summers surprise

Food Network regular Marc Summers surprised buddy Marc Vetri with a $2,500 donation to the famed Philly chef's Vetri Foundation after a screening of "The Hundred-Foot Journey" last night at the Prince Music Theater. The screening - about an Indian family who moves to southern France and clashes with a classic chef ( Helen Mirren) - benefited the foundation, which works to teach children how to make healthier eating decisions.

Mendte back on air

Larry Mendte returns to the airwaves on New York's 77 WABC from 7 to 9 p.m. Sundays starting this weekend. Mendte previously appeared on the now-defunct talk station IQ106.9 before getting the ax.

Mendte isn't an unfamiliar name in the New York market. After he was dismissed from CBS3, he was a regular on N.Y.'s PIX11. Add that to Mendte's TV shows - "The Delaware Way" and " . . . And Another Thing with Larry Mendte" - on Me-TV affiliate KJWP Channel 2, broadcasting out of Wilmington, as well as his gig as public-affairs director for the station, and it looks like the formerly embattled CBS3 anchor has a full plate.

For Mendte fans dying to listen, you can livestream his show at wabcradio.com.

Ring it in

Want to own your own piece of one of the Phillies' greatest triumphs? Lelands is currently auctioning off a 2008 World Series ring. To bid for the ring, a/k/a Lot 719, go to Lelands.com. The auction, which was up to $6,655 at press time, ends at 9 p.m. Friday.

So, whose ring is it? The website says it was "presented to someone named 'Glover,' who was part of ballpark operations."

Other Philly memorabilia include Mickey Cochrane's 1929 Philadelphia Athletics World Championship ring and Hall of Fame introduction plaque.

'Survivor' series

Want to be a castaway? "Survivor" is holding auditions from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Trump Taj Mahal (1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City). Auditions are open to legal U.S. residents 18 and older.

Email: eichelm@phillynews.com

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN

Online: ph.ly/DNGossip

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