Triangle mayors co-chair LGBT choral event for Komen foundation

Organizer describes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill mayors as 'receptive' and 'enthusiastic'

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: April 12, 2011 in News

RALEIGH, N.C. — The spokesperson for the Triangle Gay Men’s Chorus (TGMC) says three North Carolina mayors have lent their support and names to a fundraiser benefiting his group, another local chorus and the local Susan G. Komen foundation chapter.

On June 12, TGMC and the LGBT-friendly Common Woman Chorus will present the Triangle premiere “A Proclamation of Hope” featuring “Sing for the Cure,” world-renowned song cycle that honors breast cancer victims, survivors and their loved ones. The proceeds from the event, which occurs the same weekend as the Triangle Komen Race for the Cure, will be shared equally by Common Woman Chorus, TGMC and Komen for the Cure NC-Triangle, a local affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker, Durham Mayor William Bell and Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt have all signed on as honorary co-chairs of the event. News anchors Debra Morgan (WRAL) and Frances Scott (WTVD) are also co-chairs.

Stephen Melott, TGMC’s executive vice-president and marketing director, said he found each of the mayors’ offices open to working with the groups.

“Though I have not had a great deal of direct communication with the mayors themselves — most of the communication has been with their personal staff — they have been most cooperative and enthusiastic,” Melott told qnotes via email Tuesday.

Melott first reached out to Kleinschmidt before talking to Meekers’ and Bells’ offices. Kleinschmidt is one of few openly gay elected officials in North Carolina. Melott said Kleinschmidt didn’t hesitate to help.

“I think that being able to say that one of their counterparts in another Triangle city had agreed to work with us probably helped,” he said.

Melott said it is a positive sign that the mayors of the Triangle’s three largest cities have agreed to participate in an event organized by LGBT and friendly community organizations.

“While I think the fact that this project will benefit Susan G. Komen of the Triangle helped the mayors decide to associate their names with it, I do think it is indicative that the Triangle cities, or at least their current administrations, are open to working with LGBT groups and causes,” he said. “For that, I feel that Triangle LGBT residents are extremely fortunate.”

Gov. Bev Perdue has also issued an official letter of welcome to the event. Melott says the governor might attend the event, if her schedule permits.