Gifts from caring individuals in our community over the last decade–channeled through the Alliance Fund–to support projects that make life better for people in the LGBTQ community will exceed $500,000 this year. This was one note of gratitude struck at the Fund’s ‘Evening with Music and Friends’, an annual event that celebrates philanthropists who give to LGBTQ causes and creative people who originate projects supported by those funds.

The historic Stillwell House was the scene on May 20, 2012, for expressions of gratitude and appreciation to the many donors who support programs that benefit the LGBTQ community. Key people from two funded projects described their work: Stephanie Arendt from Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault described “Safe Streets Arizona,” a safety program for LGBTQ youth; T. Loving from Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation described its program that includes suicide-prevention training for people who work with queer or questioning youth.

Special thanks were extended to persons who give to support named awards: Gloria Devore in honor of Margaret Sloan; Noel Matkin and Jim Sincox; and James Leos. Kudos also went to the “Funders for LGBTQ Issues” for providing challenge funds to support the Alliance Fund’s Queer Youth Initiative.

The evening of celebration was underwritten by a Professional Alliance Sponsor, the Fund for Civility, Respect and Understanding at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, Jennie Grabel, Executive Director. Other event supporters included Edna Meza Aguirre, Arizona Flower Market (Tom Peloso), Eyelink Design (Eric Galbreath), Sir Speedy Tucson (Rick and Barbara Welch), Brenda Nowlan, Randy Soderstrom, and Colette Barajas. Music was provided by Genevieve and the LPs. Daniel Hernandez, Jr., and Ray and Kathy Green were honored guests. Brian Bateman was master of ceremonies. Kristen Birner, Vice-Chairperson of the Alliance Fund, announced that the Straight Ally of the Year Award would hereafter be named after current chairperson, Doug Noffsinger.