CHARLOTTE — In May, the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund (CLGF) will host its third annual “Happening,” a lunch-time gathering of community members, leaders and supporters across the city. There, the group plans to honor those organizations receiving grants from the Fund this year. They’ll also hear from keynote speaker, Mayor Anthony Foxx.
CLGF Chair Pete Bonneau told qnotes he’s excited about each of the organizations, projects and programs chosen for this year’s round of grants totaling over $40,000. Bonneau said he’s proud to extend funding to unique programs like those of the Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness.
The Lee Center serves those who are uninsured, underinsured or chronically ill, assisting them and their family members in meeting immediate needs. The group focuses on those suffering from cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, depression and other physical and mental illnesses affecting African-Americans.
The Lee Center’s funds are provided through a “Community Connections” grant meant for mainstream organizations working with or reaching out to LGBT people.
“They don’t just cater to LGBTs,” Bonneau said. “It was really touching for me. When you look at so many other groups, you think about how they got started — it’s all grassroots. Our grant will help them make a name for themselves. It felt nice to be able to create funding for the group and help them grow.”
The CLGF’s Happening, taking place May 13 at the Omni Hotel in Uptown Charlotte, will include speakers from the Fund’s board and keynoter, Mayor Foxx. The mayor’s appearance at the luncheon marks the first time a local elected official has appeared at a Fund event and the first time a sitting Charlotte mayor has spoken to an LGBT group in at least a decade.
“The Happening is a very important event that helps us to understand our responsibility in the community,” Bonneau said. “We’ll be looking for new support for the Fund, either through a donation or volunteer efforts, and, of course, a celebration of the successes we’ve had.”
Bonneau wouldn’t elaborate on the specifics of the Fund’s “successes,” but the group has been working feverishly for the past few months to match a $100,000 challenge issued by local philanthropist Sandy Berlin. Issued at last year’s Happening, about $30,000 was collected toward the challenge by the end of that event.
Bonneau hopes the Fund continues to grow “exponentially” and said future growth will ensure community strength.
“It is a great long-term approach to solving a problem that is evident today,” he said. “I would invite others to get involved and get excited with us and help move forward so we can fund more and more.” : :
— Learn more about the fund and reserve your space at The Happening by calling 704-665-1888 or by visiting fftc.org/clgf.
CLGF grant recipients
Operating grants ($47,000)
Campus Pride $7,000
Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte $7,500
Lional Lee, Jr. Wellness Center $5,000
One Voice Chorus $7,500
Time Out Youth $20,000
Community Connections grants ($20,000)
Campus Pride for a Charlotte, NC College Fair $2,600
Charlotte Pride Band start up $2,500
Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte for Community Choral Workshop Series $3,350
Holy Covenant United Church of Christ for workshop with Michael Piazza $2,500
Planned Parenthood Health Systems for new LGBTQA youth curriculum development $2,300
Theatre Charlotte for a new play about LGBTQ youth $3,750
Time out Youth for youth community service project $3,000
— Courtesy CLGF.