Stories reflecting life at House of Mercy since 1991 were shared at the 25th Anniversary Reception on Dec. 6.

House shares successes, changes

BELMONT, N.C. — The House of Mercy, a residential program for those affected by HIV/AIDS, has announced a number of successes over the recent months, as well as changes and additions to its board of directors.

Katie Hayes, who has served as a life care coordinator for the Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community in Detroit, Mich., joined the board.

Recent grants were received from the Westerman Foundation for purchase of a new nurse call system, and the Dowd Foundation, Stephen & Mary Birch Foundation, Merancas Foundation, MAC AIDS Fund and the Stamps Family Charitable Fund for general operating expenses.

The Tradesmen hosted their annual Christmas party on Dec. 3 where it served a home-cooked meal, fruit basket and gift cards for the residents. The organization, along with Buzz Cuts, also made a contribution to the House. To date more than $66,000 have been gifted.

The 25th anniversary was observed on Dec. 6 with a reception at the residence with a reading of all resident’s names who had resided at the House since 1991. Additionally, a candle lighting remembrance was held and Sr. Camrelita Hagen offered an invocation and benediction. Kathleen Finnigan sang and played guitar along with her husband. Those sponsoring this event were: Rosedale Infectious Diseases, Sisters of Mercy, EMD Serono, Rodgers Builders, Gilead Sciences and Chronicle Mill.


HRC Carolina announces awardees

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— The Human Rights Campaign North Carolina has announced the recipients of its 2017 Gala awards.

Receiving the 2016 People of the Year are transgender activits Lara Americo (Charlotte), Charlie Comero (Charlotte), Candis Cox (Raleigh), Madeline Goss (Raleigh), Alaina Brennan-Kupec (Chapel Hill), Erica Lachowitz (Charlotte), Mykal Shannon (Charlotte), Rev. Mykal Slack (Durham), Skye Thomson (Greenville) and Tina Madison White (Asheville).

The individuals were selected for their efforts in stepping into the spotlight to tell their stories of discrimination which was crucial to push back on the lies being told by opponents, the organization shared.

Also honored are Charlotte City Council members Al Austin, John Autry, Julie Eiselt, Patsy Kinsey, Vi Lyles, LaWana Mayfield and James “Smuggie” Mitchell, who, along with Mayor Jennifer Roberts, stood for equality, stood for fairness and stood firm in their convictions in support of Charlotte’s LGBTQ community.

The awardees will be recognized at the annual Human Rights Campaign North Carolina Gala that will be held on Feb. 4 at the Le Meridien Charlotte, 555 S. McDowell St., North Tower. Details are available online.


Update: The award for Organization of the Year is no longer listed on and appears to have been pulled from the city council. We will update if more information becomes available.

Philanthropist reveals product line

Award-winning designer and philanthropist Wesley Mancini has introduced a new product line.
Photo Credit: Nancy Pierce

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Wesley Mancini, Ltd., has launched a new outdoor line of fabrics with Al Fresco Functional Fabrics.

Wesley Mancini, Ltd., is owned by Wesley Mancini, an award-winning designer and philanthropist. He has teamed up with outdoor fabric trendsetter, Al Fresco Functional Fabrics.

Mancini, who has previously received the inaugural International Textile Alliance (ITA) lifetime achievement award in 2014, said, “I’m excited about working with great people and delving into a new market (for me).” ITA, based in High Point, N.C., is a non-profit business alliance, founded in 1990 to promote its members, their professionalism and to foster a fair working environment.

The world-renowned designer of home textile fabrics received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Philadelphia University (formerly called Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science) and completed his Master’s of Fine Art at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

Upon completion of his master’s degree in 1977, Mancini entered the work force as a designer of upholstery fabrics. In 1983, he incorporated Wesley Mancini, Ltd., as an independent studio of textile designs.

He created the Wesley Mancini Foundation in 2000 to foster inclusion of the LGBTQ community as “full participants in the greater Charlotte region,” in addition to promoting freedom of speech. It closed in 2013.


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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,...