Seattle luminaries Ken and SaSa Kirkpatrick, David Armstrong, Bonnie and Jim Towne and others raised money for the 5th Avenue Theatre at an annual gala on June 16, 2012, while Seattle Times staff columnist Nicole Brodeur eavesdropped.

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The theme of the 5th Avenue Theatre’s annual gala Saturday night was “Puttin’ on the Fifth,” but somehow, we all got stuck in the bathroom.

Blame live-auction item number five — a week at the La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs that featured a two-bedroom spa villa with three bathrooms. Auctioneer Russ Stolnack just wouldn’t let it go, referencing the bathrooms for every item after. The Majestic Bay Theatres. The three-hour yacht cruise. Even the dinner for eight at the home of Clodagh and Bob Ash. (“They’ll bring your dinner into the bathroom!”)

The event, which raised $525,000 for the 5th Avenue’s education programs, marked an anniversary for US Bank President Ken Kirkpatrick and his wife, SaSa, a member of the theater’s board of directors. On the Monday after last year’s gala, Kirkpatrick (who started with the bank as a teller) was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

“It felt like a constant sinus headache,” he said — which made him scowl a lot. “People told me later they thought I was mad at them.”

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Kirkpatrick underwent 21 straight days of chemo, and is “doing OK.” And in a tux, no less.

The 5th’s executive producer and artistic director, David Armstrong, stood among the gussied-up revelers and beamed: “For once, I’m a partygoer.”

One of the best items at the live auction was a chance to take over the marquee at the now-closed Lusty Lady strip club.

The honor, donated by The Holmes Group, went to 5th patron Bonnie Towne for her husband, Jim Towne.

“It’s a big birthday for him,” she said of her $2,500 bid, while he just smiled. (OK, he’ll be 70.)

“There’s a lot of guys who’d like to put something up there at the Lusty Lady,” Jim said. “Did I just say that?”

The Townes are open to suggestions for the marquee, so send them my way and I’ll print them here — then start looking for another job.

It’s always something

At the Gilda’s Club 15th Annual “Surviving with Style” luncheon, “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon gave a heartfelt speech about how she dealt with her diagnosis — but stopped short of giving advice.

“It’s not my job to figure out what any person needs to fight cancer,” she said. “Because there’s Gilda’s Club for that.”

Salon magnate Gene Juarez, who received the Citizenship Award, lost his mother to cancer when he was 16, so he related to every survivor’s story.

“I felt what that was like.”

At the meet-and-greet after, Nixon, a newlywed, collected gifts from well-wishers — some just smart business people looking to dress or feed a star: Fran’s Chocolates, Gene Juarez, thinkThin bars, WRAPhabillement and Glassybaby.

I didn’t get her a present,” said Anna Gottlieb, Gilda’s Club Seattle executive director.

I think you do enough, love.

Speaking of Glassybaby

You know you’ve, uh, made it when they tap you to announce the Glassybaby Seconds Sale, scheduled for Saturday, June 30, at their Madrona studio and hot shop (3406 E. Union St., Seattle).

Those little votives that made founder Lee Rhodes a friend of Martha Stewart and a partner with founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will sell for $27 each. Ten percent of the proceeds — an estimated $15,000 — will go to help Swedish Medical Center cancer patients with their expenses during chemotherapy.

Doors open at 8 a.m. And please, people: keep ahold of yourselves. And save me one.

Names in Bold appears every Tuesday. Reach Nicole at 206-464-2334 or

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