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September 30, 2014

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AFAN fills LMNT-al need with Bryan Chan, Black & White Party host

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Bryan Chan.

27th Annual AFAN Black & White Party

Fruitloop Drag Queens perform during the 27th Annual Aid for AIDS of Nevada Black & White Party at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas Saturday night, August 24, 2013. Launch slideshow »
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Chippendales headliners Nathan Minor, Bryan Chan and James Davis attend the "Kiss for a Cure" benefit for the American Cancer Society and ForgetCancerNow.com at the Act in the Palazzo on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.

Bryan Chan will be in his element Saturday night. But it won’t be the first time.

He was in his element — LMNT, actually — just before he moved to Las Vegas.

“I was in this boyband, and we had one hit, ‘Hey Juliet,’ ” Chan remembers — fondly, we can assume. “We opened for Britney Spears in 2003, so it’s funny that she is here now, and I’m here now, too.”

Funny, for sure.

Maybe LMNT was a big dang deal for boyband fans, but the troupe is but a memory today for Chan, who spent several years as the frontman for Chippendales at the Rio and Saturday night co-hosts the 28th annual AFAN Black & White Party at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel.

The event begins at 8 p.m. with a VIP reception. The big shindig in the Joint runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., followed by an after-party at Piranha on Paradise Road, just south of the Hard Rock Hotel, in that famous, loopy enclave of alternative clubs.

Entertainment scheduled includes Melody Sweets of “Absinthe” at Caesars Palace, members of “Jubilee” at Bally’s, Skye Dee Miles of Rose. Rabbit. Lie at the Cosmopolitan, Jabbawockeez at the Luxor, and Chase Brown and Lorena Peril of “Vegas! The Show” at Planet Hollywood. Shangela (aka D.J. Pierce) of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is scheduled to appear, too.

As always, Las Vegas chefs and mixologists will be on hand, including Culinary Dropout, Maggiano’s, Pink Taco, 35 Steaks + Martinis, Jamba Juice, Popcorn Girl and Ferraro’s. Desserts are to be supplied by Aliante and Back Bar USA.

On Friday, an official kickoff party is set for Liaison at Bally’s starting at 10 p.m. On Sunday, guests who pay the $40 ticket price will be admitted free at Encore Beach Club from 2 to 5 p.m. The VIP package is available for $125, with tickets available at AFAN.org.

Money from the event is to benefit Aid for AIDS of Nevada, which was founded in 1984 — making this the organization’s 30th anniversary event — and provides services to those suffering from HIV/AIDS. These programs include medical-case management, housing, food-and-transportation vouchers and education efforts.

Chan is helming the AFAN event for the first time, stepping in for well-liked Channel 8 anchor Chris Saldana, who co-hosted the event for years before moving to Austin this year. His path to the event was not necessarily planned but makes sense if you have seen him host similar events.

Having spent seven years with Chipps, Chan is becoming a coveted MC for charity events in Las Vegas. He smoothly navigated the Human Rights Campaign Gala at Wynn Las Vegas in May.

“I was so honored to do that, and it was a really important event for me, personally,” Chan says. “My whole entry into Las Vegas, years ago, was as an MC. I’ve done a lot of corporate and convention work, but I’ve also hosted Broadway Bares’ and other community events. That’s where my soul is, with being involved in the community.”

Chan laughs as he remembers coming to Las Vegas on a short-term contract (as do many entertainers) and winding up staying for a decade. He still tours with the production and is close to the show, as his partner, Jaymes Vaughan, is now the host and vocalist.

“I was on a three-month contract,” Chan says. “But this whole experience, from the moment I arrived, has been phenomenal. I just offer what I can, and this is going to be a great, great experience for everybody.”

LMNT-ally speaking, he is right.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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