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Center to host 37th annual gala on Oct. 23 Event hoped to make up for decline in funding


October 8-October 21, 2010 GAY SAN DIEGO

5 Earl Thomas

Attendees at last year’s gala, held at Paradise Point Resort (Courtesy AJ Ward)

By Siobhan Braun | Special to GSD

The San Diego LGBT Com- munity Center will host its 37th anniversary gala on Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel. The black tie event will kick off with a cocktail hour and silent auction from 6 to 7 p.m. in the hotel’s Sapphire Room, overlooking the San Diego Bay. Cocktails will be followed by a gourmet dinner, awards ceremo- ny and dancing set to the tunes of 12-piece band, Haute Chili. One of The Center’s larg-

est annual fundraisers, the gala brings together elected and ap- pointed officials, members of the LGBT community, volunteers and The Center’s many donors. “All of these people gather to help us raise funds for the critical programs The Center offers to the community—programs for youth, seniors, HIV-positive indi- viduals, families and more,” said The Center’s executive director, Delores Jacobs. “Our goal is to have as many people as are able give as much as they can afford to help us raise as much as pos- sible to continue to support these community-funded programs.” Due to the economy, Jacobs

said The Center’s overall revenue for the past 18 months, including private and government funding, is down by about 15 percent. How- ever, she noted, the number of people experiencing hardship and seeking services has increased by about 25 percent. “The Center provided services

to 46,000 people last year,” Jacobs said. “More people need help than ever before and, while more people than ever are also giving funds and volunteering, those supporters are able to give less at a time when many need more. “The fact that more people

than ever are donating to The Center, even if the amounts they give are smaller, is an inspiration and a reminder of the tremendous generosity of our community. We are grateful for their incredible willingness to continue or begin to contribute.” At this year’s gala, The Cen- ter will be honoring nine award- ees for their dedication, service and leadership to the San Diego LGBT community. They include Jennifer LeSar, Kevin Tilden, James Ziegler, Robert Gleason, Richard Valdez, Brian Bazinet, San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria, Bob Nelson and Dr. Shaun Travers. Looking back on the five years she chaired and served on The

Center’s board of directors, hon- oree Jennifer LeSar said her most memorable experiences included being there for the opening of The Center’s new building on Centre Street, as well as the open- ing of the Hillcrest Youth Center and Sunburst Youth Housing Proj- ect, which serves youth between the ages of 18 and 24 who are at risk for homelessness. “I don’t think people realize how innovative the Sunburst housing program is,” LeSar said. One of the first projects of its

kind in the nation, The Center opened the Sunburst Youth Housing Project in January of 2006. Its mission is to provide supportive housing for the young homeless suffering from mental health problems, HIV/ AIDS or chronic substance abuse. It offers 23 units of sup- portive housing, with a special focus on LGBTQ youth. LeSar said she views The Center as “a home to everyone,”

see Gala, pg 10 eventsATTHECENTER Saturday, October 9

“Live, Love, Laugh and Be Happy!” 10am-3pm, The Center

Find positive and affirming resources for staying healthy, active and engaged at the Fifth Annual Senior Resource Fair. The Senior Resource Fair is a free day of services, resources and workshops focused on senior health and well-being. For more information, contact Abby

Schwartz at (619) 692-2077, ext. 212, or Tuesday, October 12

50 & Better Games, Games, Games Group 1pm, Center Library

On the second Tuesday of every month, 1-4 pm,

join 50 and Better Together’s new group of game enthusiasts. Do you love to play cards or miss the old days of classic games like Connect Four, Life and Trivial Pursuit? We’ll have tons of your favorite games available in a relaxed, drop in environment in The Center’s library. This is a free event and all are welcome. For information, contact Abby Schwartz at (619) 692-2077, ext. 212, or The San Diego LGBT Community Center • 3909 Centre Street • 619-692-2077

Friday, October 15

Quarterly Community Breakfast: Prop J and Public Schools

7:30am, The Center

Concerned about the state of education at San Diego public schools? Voters will soon weigh in on Prop J – a temporary annual parcel tax that proponents say would prevent teacher layoffs, fund job and college preparation, and preserve small class sizes. Join the debate at our Quarterly LGBT Community Coalition Breakfast. Richard Barrera, President of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education, and Lani Lutar, President and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, will argue for and against the measure. The forum will take place at The Center. A full breakfast is available for a $10 donation; coffee and tea are complimentary. RSVPs are not required.

after blues musicians in the world. Thomas and his band the Blues Ambassadors will record the show for his first live CD. Thomas, who made his world stage debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival, has released 13 critically acclaimed CDs and worked with artists such as Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Etta James and Tom Jones. A master of the blues idiom,

Thomas comes from a long line of Tennessee bluesmen. His lat- est release is titled “Introducing the Blues Ambassadors.” “The blues is a traditionally American art form created in America as a result of the slave trade and the cultural melting pot that is our country,” Thomas said. “The Blues Ambassadors features musicians of African, British, Indian, Japanese, Norwegian and Latin descent. It’s the face of America today.” The show is part of Anthol- ogy’s Late Night Blues ‘N’ Brew Festival, taking place Oct. 14-16. Tickets are $15 and $10. Antholo- gy is located at 1337 India St. For more information, visit antholo- or call (619) 595-0300.

Fall fair to benefit Stepping Stone, Oct. 16 On Saturday, Oct. 16, Stepping Stone will hold a fall residential fair, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at its

see Briefs, pg 7 WEB EXCLUSIVE!

GSD’s Christy Scannell reports from the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association conference in San Diego. Find out how this national network of LGBT doctors is working to overcome homophobia in healthcare at

GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas.

Save the Dates!

37th Anniversary Gala: Saturday, Oct. 23

Nightmare on Normal Street: Saturday, Oct. 30

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