Youth center fundraiser slated

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Jesus People Church of Asheville, 278 Haywood Rd., is holding its “Night of Joy” fundraiser on Oct. 17, 7 p.m., at Edna’s of Asheville, 870 Merrimon Ave., to help create an LGBT youth housing and community complex.

The inclusive and affirming congregation began fundraising efforts approximately a year ago for one of its ministries in order to establish its Joy Center Asheville. The center will be a place where LGBT youth can be housed in a very well-designed, peaceful and safe place where they will be supported by in-house social services and lifeskills programs. The location will also have a community complex.

Despite the growing awareness of LGBT youth homelessness in this region, there are still no local facilities to house and help these youth to become self-sustainable, the church shared.

“We believe that the Joy Center, Asheville will become a regional beacon of hope. The issue of LGBT homelessness in this region is worse than in many others, due to the fact that many young people are ejected from their homes by their parents because of misguided religious beliefs,” said Pastor Tom Cash.

Pastor Francisco Gonzalez, a ministry team member, shared, “Many times, when I am out listening to these kids’ stories on the streets and how they are rejected by their families, it becomes apparent that many are depressed and contemplating suicide. This just simply cannot continue.”

Tickets for the event are $65 and are available online at Admission includes heavy appetizers, drinks, entertainment and a high-end silent auction.Contributions to the church are tax-deductible.


Catholics host retreat

MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C. — The Diocesan Ministry for Gay & Lesbian Catholics will host its The Cross & Rainbow annual retreat from Oct. 9-11 at Living Waters Catholic Reflection Center, 103 Living Waters Ln.

Fr. Carl Del Giudice of Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, Charlotte, N.C., will serve as retreat leader.

Cost is $150 for the weekend. Registration is required via email at

In other news, the organization is holding mass and dinners over the coming months at various locations around Western Carolina. Those are: Sept. 26, 5:30 p.m., St. Eugene Catholic Church, 72 Culvern St., Asheville, N.C., with dinner at a local restaurant following the mass (contact Tommy at 828-337-0318 for more information.); Nov. 14, 5 p.m., Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, 2301 Statesville Ave., Charlotte, N.C.; Feb. 20, 5 p.m., St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 507 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, N.C.; and May 21, 5 p.m., Queen of the Apostles, 503 N. Main St., Belmont, N.C.

info: 980-218-9191.

Youth org forming

BOONE, N.C. — The Lauren Jaquays High Country LGBTQ Alliance is in the process of forming with hopes to begin this fall to serve Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Wilkes, Yancey, Mitchell and Alleghany counties.

The organization began as High Country LGBTQ Alliance, but has recently changed to memorialize Jaquays who died in July and was committed to equality.

Organizers are working on establishing their non-profit status. They have established their mission are committed to providing an accepting and support for LGBT youth, as well as bringing awareness to the issues that these youth incur. Promotion of a happy and healthy environment is crucial so that youth can thrive in an environment that enriches self image, promotes confidence to live peacefully in the community, while feeling secure in their schools.

Areas that organizers want to address are: educational staff training on welcoming school policies; development of strong LGBT student leaders; creation of a resource list of LGBT-friendly providers; proving outreach programming, social events and support; and building a youth center.

LGBT and allied youth ages 12 to 18 years old are welcome. The organization wants to provide a resource and network for those who encounter bullying at school, are contemplating suicide or face expulsion from their homes.

They recently held a Back 2 School Festival at Watauga High School to introduce themselves to the community.

Contributions will begin to be accepted in the fall once the 501c3 is established. However, in the meantime, monies can be sent to the Lauren Jaquays Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1837, Boone, NC 28607. Funds will be diverted to the organization.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen is QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director. She can be reached at and 704-531-9988,...