A Celebration of Friends, Inc. mission is to provide warm, comfortable, safe and engaging gatherings recognizing and promoting self-worth, dignity, kindness and friendships of and within our senior population. To that end, we strive not only to host celebrations of our seniors, but family type reunions of our friends and brothers through supportive connections within our nationwide and international scope.
Over the past 15 years A Celebration of Friends has donated over $210,000 to local charities. We are an all-volunteer organization receiving no federal funding or grants.
Tom (Tomcat) Pence
Founder and President of A Celebration Of Friends, Inc.
A Celebration of Friends, Inc. was founded by Tom Pence, a former U.S. Marine, who realized early on that "Maturity Matters" in this youth-oriented gay world and that there was a need for seniors to be celebrated.
Operating on a tight budget, the first Celebration was held in 2002 in New Orleans, LA. The next fifteen years, Tomcat moved ACOF to yearly Celebrations in Central and South Florida and has had many distinguished guests such as actor Ed Asner and former U.S, Congressman Barney Frank and husband Jim Ready.
In October 2011, the ACOF and Tomcat was acknowledged by Tuesday's Angels for giving over $100,000 to Fort Lauderdale area charities.
Over the past 14 years, more than 5,000 men have participated in these annual Family reunions and over $200,000 in charitable donations has been raised.
Tomcat’s unquenchable spirit and dedication has maintained the Celebration’s credo “We’re all in this together!!! And together, we Can Make A Difference!!!”
Born in Cuba, Alain came to this country when he was ten years old.
Upon graduation from high school, Alain enlisted in the Marine Corps to travel the world. And travel he did, spending the next twenty-five years visiting the Pacific Rim, Kenya, Jordan, Somalia, China and Australia before retiring as a Master Sergeant.
Alain is currently working for one of Florida’s local City police Departments in the data entry field. He believes in the ACOF and the need for the A Celebration of Friends so deeply, he gladly volunteered to be on the Board and is one of its hardest working members. His innocence and shyness is something not often seen in a gay environment.
Alain would love to hear from you.
William (Bill) Hagel
ACOF Board Member
Bill is a proud veteran who served in the U.S. Navy from 1968-1972. After losing his Celebration Virginity in July of 2017, He was so inspired with the mission of the ACOF that he ran for office and became a member of the Board. He worked for 31 years at AT&T as the Travel Manager providing services for over 300,000 employees. After leaving AT&T, Bill spent time as VP of Finance and Human Resources for Med-Jet. He finished up by returning to the corporate travel industry as VP of Sales and Customer Service for Gem Limousine Worldwide. After retiring, he moved from NJ to Delaware where he currently resides.
Bill was in a domestic partnership with the love of his life, Joe, for 37 years. Joe passed in 2013 leaving many wonderful memories.
Stewart “Stew” Pepper
Stew and his husband of 18 years “Auggie” moved to South Florida in March of 2010 from Phoenix, AZ. and quickly assimilated into the community. “We love it here and truly enjoy being a part of South Florida." Stew and Auggie operate along with James Basmajian “Rainbow Services” providing elder care and many other services to the community. Rainbow Services is also a Travel Agency and provides travel and cruise assistance to all.
"We love that ACOF is here for seniors and their admirers by providing a safe place to meet and socialize, giving folks the opportunity to convene twice each year for comradery, fellowship and fun is wonderful for all. Plus, for the guys in the Fort Lauderdale area, we can gather several Saturday mornings each month for The Klassic Coffee Klatch at Skolnick Community Center in Palm Aire.
Stew is also a board member of the Fort Lauderdale Prime Time Gentlemen.
Please feel free to contact any of us on the board with and questions or suggestions, we value your input!
Hugs to all…Stew & Auggie