Fund-raiser pays big dividends for local groups
DECEMBER 24, 1999 « HOUSTON VOICE
OCCASIONS • CARMART • CLASSIFIEDS
BUSINESS DIRECTORY • MY STARS
by ROBERT B. HENDERSON
From heath fairs for lesbians to advocacy
efforts for gay teens, more than a dozen
local groups received financial support for
their efforts, thanks to the proceeds from a
Some $144,000 in proceeds from the Nov.
13 Houston Black Tie Dinner was distributed to the groups earlier this month.
A record-setting 1,200 people attended
the event at the George R. Brown
"We throw one big party. It's a glamorous evening where people come out.
They're able to eat dinner, hear a great
speaker, do silent auction and take pictures
with their friends. We had dinner music
and dance music at the end. The George R.
Brown has never looked more gorgeous,"
said Amanda M. Barhost, president of
Houston Black Tie Dinner.
The $16,000 that Bering Omega
Community Services received will support
several programs for the AIDS service
organization, said Bill Kersten, executive
"We really want to get the community to
think of us as offering HIV services rather
than thinking of our individual components," he said. "That was the thinking
behind asking for the money in this way.
Overall our goal is to provide continuous
care to people with HIV," Kersten said.
Some $12,166 went to the Houston Area
Teen Coalition of Homosexuals
(H.A.T.C.H.), which will help continue
funding for the group's mentoring efforts
for young gays ages 13 to 20, and
expand outreach efforts into local public
schools, said Kevin Davidson, H.A.T.C.H.
"[We will be] offering continuing
education unit hours to administrators,
teachers and counselors to educate on
sexual minority youth issues and safe
environments within their schools,"
Though H.A.T.C.H. focuses mostly on
schools within Houston Independent
School District, the group is receiving calls
from suburban school districts.
The Montrose Clinic will use its $18,120
for several programs, including specialty
clinics, HIV counseling and testing, and
advocacy efforts, said Todd Foster, the clinic's development director.
"Without Black Tie, that would leave a
significant dollar amount we would have
to go out and ask the community for,"
Foster said. "One of the great advantages
of Black Tie is it consolidates fund-raising
efforts between several different agencies.
It's really nice to see the community
Bering Omega's Bill
Kersten said proceeds from the
Black Tie Dinner
will bolster the
(or people with
AIDS, while Jackie
Duval, president of
Initiative, said new
funding will help its
come together as one like that for a
The 7-year-old Lesbian Health Initiative
received $2,579 from Black Tie, which will
help fund health fairs that provide
mammograms, Pap smears, and screenings for osteoporosis and sexually transmitted diseases.
"With the Health tnitiative we're able to
provide on an annual basis health fairs,"
said Jackie Duval, the group's president.
"It allows a group of women to have more
focused fairs like for Hispanic women,
Asian women, and older women."
The health fairs often provide the only
preventative health care some women
receive because of a lack of insurance
or a lack of comfort with other doctors,
"The physicians we have who come
and staff the health fairs are volunteers
who understand our community very
well. The physicians are lesbian or
'friendly,'" Duval said.
Other groups receiving funds from
the dinner: AIDS Foundation Houston
($7,432), The Assistance Fund ($17,
592), AssistHers ($5,720), Body Positive-
Houston ($3,868), Center for AIDS ($3,
798), PFLAG ($7,829), PWA Coalition
($$,852), Texas Human Rights Foundation ($3,540), An Uncommon Legacy
($6,130) and The Gay & Lesbian Victory
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