Kitty Keiser was long involved in charity before coming to New Hope in 1985. She was a large part of Allentown’s LGBTQ+ community for 30 years prior.
As a bartender in Allentown, Kitty raised $20,000 for a benefit at Rainbow Mountain. Her friend who was a lobbyist, started a non-profit to help those suffering from AIDS and FACT (Fighting AIDS Continuously Together) was born. Kitty served as Chairperson for FACT’s “Snow Ball” in Allentown and raised over $25,000. At that time, New Hope was bussing people to the “Snow Ball” event in Allentown.
When she moved to New Hope, she got a job through Herb Andrus bartending at the Cartwheel. Kitty had lost a roommate to AIDS on her birthday and then a co-worker from the Cartwheel became sick and was in need. She called FACT in Allentown and wanted to have a “Snow Ball” here in New Hope. This led to a FACT chapter starting in New Hope.
The “Snow Ball” gala was going to be held at the Holiday Inn in 1992, and the night before the ball the hotel lost their liquor license. Through her connections and those of her wife Jackie’s, she was able to have liquor donated and have the “Snow Ball” which was sold out.
Kitty bartended at the Cartwheel for 7 years. It was there that she met her girlfriend and now wife Jackie. They have been together for 30 years.
During her time at the Cartwheel, Mother Cavallucci worked the dining room and Danee was the hostess. Kitty said that Mother would always have ice at each bartender’s station for her cold beers. Victoria Shaw who won the 1993 Academy of Country Music Award for Song of the Year, would come from New York and play at the piano bar. She was a big supporter of FACT and one time brought Faith Hill to Kitty’s house for dinner. Victoria always remembered New Hope for giving her the first break and she invited Kitty to her wedding in Nashville.
After the Cartwheel, Kitty worked at the Stockton Inn for 13 years and then the Logan Inn. She will never forget all the people she met along the way and all those who are still close friends. She said New Hope was accepting of everyone.
Kitty now spends 6 months a year in Fort Lauderdale and still has a home in New Hope and treasures everything about her time here.