Raymond Shelton took over as special events coordinator for the Resource Center of Dallas on Aug. 1 this year. His primary duties are staging the Toast to Life fundraiser each February and the Summer Strut Home Tour each June. The center held a kick-off reception for Toast to Life 2007. slated for Feb. 25 at the Women’s Museum in Fair Park. Tickets are on sale now online art www.rcdallas.org and at www.ToastToLife.org.
Where were you before you came to the Resource Center of Dallas?
I was in New York City for the last 15 years, working as a writer and producer for Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS. The Resource Center of Dallas had been one of our regular grantees for the last seven or eight years.
What brought you from that job to this one?
I was born and raised in Amarillo, and at this time last year, my whole family was in Dallas. I had lived my whole life waiting to get to New York. And when I got there, I thought I would never leave. Earlier this year, I was here visiting my family, and I decided to tour the Resource Center, just to see how our money was being used. I got to see the Hot Meals Program in full swing, and I just had a really good feeling for the people here. I had decided I want to relocate to Dallas to be near my family, so when the job came open here, I went for it.
Why did you want to relocate?
I left New York because I was ready for a change. I was ready for the things I couldn’t have in New York things like a dishwasher, a washer and dryer. I went from living in a 420-square-foot apartment to living in a 916-square-foot apartment.
What drew you to the Dallas community?
When I first came to Dallas, I was just really taken with the GLBT community here. It seemed so organized, so active and so vital. After living in New York for so long, I knew that wherever I moved, I would need to be around that kind of community. I had never felt that kind of vitality in a community anywhere else but New York that is, until I came to Dallas.
What can people look forward to at Toast To Life 2007?
We are really excited about this event. It will be at the Women’s Museum in Fair Park, and it is just a real good space for the event. It fits hand-in-hand with our silent auction, which will include donations from 50 to 100 artists, plus about 100 or more other items. This year, the auction items can be seen online as soon as they are available, which is a big plus.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, October 27, 2006.