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News Briefs: Fundraiser nets record amount

by compiled by Matthew S. Bajko

Volunteers promote Visalia's LGBT community center, the<br>Source. Photo: Courtesy the Source LGBT-plus Center.
Volunteers promote Visalia's LGBT community center, the
Source. Photo: Courtesy the Source LGBT-plus Center.  

A national LGBTQ day of charitable giving raised a record amount this year, reported the San Francisco-based organization that oversees it.

The fifth annual Give OUT Day netted more than $718,000 for 300-plus organizations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, according to Horizons Foundation. The LGBT philanthropic agency, which promotes charitable giving to numerous nonprofit causes in the Bay Area, said the 24-hour fundraiser held April 20 saw "a remarkable" 30 percent increase over last year's fundraising total.

"In the face of enormous challenges to LGBTQ rights, it is thrilling to watch Give OUT Day bring our community and allies together," stated Roger Doughty, the foundation's president.

Participating agencies not only seek donations from supporters during the day but also compete to raise the most funds in various categories in order to receive cash prizes. Nearly $100,000 was handed out to winning organizations, including Southerners on New Ground, which netted $43,540 from 801 donors, and Equality Virginia, which received $9,718 from 285 donors, netting it a $5,000 prize.

The Oakland-based Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network, or GSA Network for short, received $23,996 from 479 donors, while Freedom Oklahoma raised $18,232 from 322 donors.

The Source LGBT-plus Center, which opened last May in downtown Visalia in California's Central Valley, was able to raise $17,435 from 288 donors. It placed second in the nation among agencies with budgets under $100,000 and was awarded $5,000.

"We were quite pleased," said Nick Vargas, a co-founder of the LGBT community center, which recently doubled its space in order to provide additional services.

Since its inception in 2013, Give OUT Day has raised nearly $4 million from more than 33,000 individual donors to benefit more than 500 different organizations across the country.


Tenderloin Museum marks 2nd year

To mark its second anniversary, the Tenderloin Museum is hosting a daylong celebration May 13. Along with free admission that Saturday starting at 10 a.m., the public is invited to attend a host of free programming later in the afternoon.

Among the offerings will be the first-ever reading of scenes from a new play about the August 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot by Mark Nassar, co-creator of "Tony n' Tina's Wedding." Patrons of the long closed eatery on the corner of Turk and Taylor streets are believed to have engaged in the first-ever anti-police riot by the LGBTQ community in the U.S.

The reading will take place at 6 p.m. followed by drag performances by co-authors Donna Personna and Collette LeGrande, as well as Olivia Hart. The Tenderloin Museum is co-producing the play, which will premiere this fall in the Tenderloin, which for decades has been home for LGBT residents of San Francisco.

Beginning at 4 p.m. will be two talks related to what life in the Tenderloin was like during the Summer of Love 50 years ago. At 7:30 p.m. the SF Recovery Theater will present a live jazz concert recalling the heydays of the neighborhood's former Black Hawk jazz club.

For more information, visit the museum's website at


Tenderloin church hosts gender conference

Glide Memorial United Methodist Church is hosting the inaugural Gender Identity and Expression Summit this weekend. Over the course of three days, participants will explore issues related to transgender and gender-expansive people.

The summit begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 5 with the showing of Jac Gares' documentary "Free Cece" about Chrishaun Reed "CeCe" McDonald. The 2012 imprisonment of the African American transwoman, who fatally stabbed a man who had attacked her and her friends in Minneapolis the prior year, sparked national outrage that led to McDonald's early release from prison.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 6 will be various workshops and panel discussions. Glide's morning church services Sunday, May 7 will feature special sermons, and from 1 to 3 p.m. that day will be a workshop on gender variance and spirituality.

Organizers aim to foster empowerment and solidarity between the transgender and faith communities, as well as provide a space for people to discuss issues of spirituality and gender expression and identity.

"In a time when the marginalized are feeling more vulnerable to hate and fear, Glide stands committed, as it has for over 50 years, to unconditional love and acceptance," stated Janice Mirikitani, a co-founder of the church.

The summit will take place at Glide, which is located at 330 Ellis Street at Taylor in the Tenderloin. All events are free and open to the public, but people should register in advance. To do so, visit or call (415) 674-6000.


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