An annual event to raise money for gay/straight alliance clubs at Independence high schools is sold out and has surpassed previous efforts.

This is the fourth year for Thadapalooza, organized by Independence resident Thad McCullough. It’s Saturday evening at the Exchange Event Space on the Independence Square.

Last year’s event had about 40 attendees. The Exchange Event Space holds 200 and is sold out.

“It’s mind-blowing to see the support I get from it,” McCullough said.

He said studies have shown that just the existence of LGBT clubs in high schools can cut down on bullying, and he said it’s important for young people to know they are valued for who they are. He said he hoped to raise enough to send club members on a field trip for a program at the Coterie Theatre in Kansas City.

The evening’s performers are singer Adriana Nikole, singer and pianist Joey Marlow and singer Julia Othmer.

“I am the emcee,” McCullough said. “I perform in drag. I let my inner theater come out.”

Sponsors are the Exchange Event Space; B-Vogue Salon & Gallery, where McCullough works; and the Independence Human Relations Commission, of which McCullough is a member.

He said serving on the commission is a way for him to give back, and he said its support for the event apparently makes it the first city-sponsored LGBT event in Independence.

“I would like to give back to my local community,” he said.