A benefit is being held to assist in Kat Williams’ kidney transplant surgery. Williams is seen here during healthier days.

Benefit upcoming for transplant funds

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Kat Williams has broken the news that she is in end-stage kidney failure and is in need of a transplant.

The jazz and blues singer and community member, as well as a friend to LGBT and straight organizations, is being cared for by her partner and friends. Pressures are mounting to locate a kidney and to find the funds to handle costs that insurance fails to cover, all of which runs around $150,000.

A fundraising benefit will be held on Aug. 21, 5 p.m., at the Renaissance Hotel Ballroom, 31 Woodfin St. Music will be provided by Free Planet and West Sound. Attendees are able to enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres while contributing to the cause. Tickets are $20 and are available online at bit.ly/2b69M31.

For those who are unable to attend but want to assist in the effort, a crowdfunding page has been established. Visit bit.ly/2aZJTjB to learn more and make a contribution.

“Most all of you know how, when asked to help or do a benefit show, Kat has never turned down anyone. Here is our chance to help her out in a great time of need,” said Gay Asheville NC’s Jerry Conner.

Williams’ story can be viewed on GayAshevilleNC’s magazine at bit.ly/2aZJTjB.

info: gayashevillenc.com.

Org nets Unifour grant

HICKORY, N.C. — The AIDS Leadership Foothills-area Alliance (ALFA) has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Unifour Foundation.

The grant will be used to further ALFA’s mission to provide HIV education, testing and support services to individuals in the Unifour community.  “Contrary to popular belief, HIV/AIDS has not gone away. Southern states are currently experiencing an epidemic, with North Carolina ranking eighth in the country for new diagnoses. Despite advances in treatment and prevention options, which can increase quality of life, extend an individual’s lifespan and reduce transmission risk by over 90 percent, two-thirds of ALFA’s clients come to us with advanced stages of HIV. Funding from the Unifour Foundation is vital to the health of our community,” said ALFA Executive Director Christina Kliesch.

This year ALFA celebrates its 29th year of providing medical case management and fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS through education and testing. In 2015, ALFA provided HIV education to over 4,700 individuals; performed 960 HIV tests; provided 178 people living with HIV a variety of services including linkage to housing assistance, medical transportation and emergency utilities and nutrition assistance. Free and confidential HIV testing is available at their office at 1120 Fairgrove Church Rd. SE, Suite 28,  from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday.

The Unifour Foundation is an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation (NCCF).

info: alfainfo.org.

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Share your news with us
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 specialassignments@goqnotes.com. 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 specialassignments@goqnotes.com and 704-531-9988,...