Lots of LGBT orgs participating in North Texas Giving Day on Thursday

givingday

North Texas Giving Day is Thursday and a lot of LGBT organizations are participating.

Donations can be made online from 7 a.m. to midnight by going here and searching for an organization.

Among the LGBT organizations participating are AIDS Arms, AIDS Outreach, AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services of Dallas, Legal Hospice of Texas, Legacy Gay & Lesbian Fund for Dallas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and North Texas Food Bank, which supplies much of the food for Resource Center’s food pantry.

Communities Foundation of Texas organized the event. Each $25 donation and above received Thursday will get bonus funds. If an organization receives 32 individual donations, it will be entered to win an additional $10,000.

Funds can also be designated to a specific program in the notes section.

For a complete list of organizations, go here.

—  Dallasvoice

Razzle Dazzle Dallas, MetroBall distribute $59K to beneficiaries

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Razzle Dazzle Dallas presents a check for $43,000 to the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Razzle Dazzle Dallas distributed $59,000 from its events to its beneficiaries last night at Sue Ellen’s. The total was several thousand dollars more than last year.

Thelma Houston headlined the Metro Ball at S4 on June 7 benefiting the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. That organization provides financial assistance for critical needs such as rent and utility payments when all other resources are exhausted.

GDMAF received $43,000. That’s a $10,000 increase over last year. Razzle Dazzle chair John Cooper-Lara attributed that to a very successful silent auction and Houston’s enthusiastic participation in the live auction.

The Main Event, held on June 8 at Main Street Garden, benefited AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, Cedar Springs Beautification Project, Legacy Counseling Center, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center Dallas, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Turtle Creek Chorale. Those groups will share $16,000.

This was the first year the Main Event was held off Cedar Springs Road. The amount distributed to the community organizations was down from last year’s $25,000. Organizers plan to return Downtown next year and hope the event will build into a larger Pride party.

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Board members from Razzle Dazzle Dallas with a check for eight LGBT organizations.

—  David Taffet

LifeWalk fundraisers set this weekend

LifeWalkLifeWalk isn’t until October, but you can get started early with helping raise money for the AIDS fundraiser. Here are some events this weekend:

AIDS Services of Dallas Car Wash. Get your ride clean and contribute to ASD at the same time. IN the Round-Up parking lot off Throckmorton, Saturday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Green Team Pool Party. A private home hosts a day-long dip and sip for one of the teams. 1010 Gregory St., Garland, Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

10th Annual Miss LifeWalk Pageant. Come root for your favorite ladyboy as she walks the runway for charity. The Rose Room inside Station 4, 3911 Cedar Springs Road, Sunday, doors open at 6:30 p.m. $7 donation requested at the door; $17 reserved seating.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

PHOTOS: Black Tie distribution party

Members of Northaven United Methodist Church accept their distribution check. The church also received a special award for selling more than 100 raffle tickets, a Black Tie record.

Black Tie Dinner distributed proceeds from the November dinner on Thursday night. (CLICK HERE TO VIEW FULL STORY)

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin flew into town to receive a check for more than half a million dollars. Resource Center Dallas CEO Cece Cox and other staff picked up a check for more than $75,000 — a Black Tie Dinner record for a local organization. Erik Folkerth received a special award on behalf of Northaven United Methodist Church for selling more than 100 raffle tickets, another BTD record.

The distribution celebration was held at the Dallas Contemporary, a gallery of Riverfront (Industrial) Boulevard near Oak Lawn Avenue. Photos below.

—  David Taffet

LifeWalk distributes record funds, awards top fundraisers from 2012 event

Elizabeth Trail’rs winning award at the LifeWalk Wrap-Up Party

LifeWalk announced a fundraising record $464,642 for its 2012 event and handed out awards to its top fundraisers and teams.

The LifeWalk Wrap-Up Party and check distribution took place at the Hilton Anatole on Nov. 7, a month after the Oct. 7 5K walk, run and festival in Lee Park.

The Dallas Voice Elizabeth Trail’rs placed first in the small business category. Team Captain Chance Browning said his team collected $9,601 and was also the ninth highest fundraising team.

The top team was Guys & Dolls, which raised more than $78,000. The Green Team placed second with more than $22,000.

John Gordon was the top individual fundraiser with $11,900. He was top individual fundraiser last year as well. Heather Thomas was second with more than $9,800. More than 250 individuals each raised more than $250.

LifeWalk is a fundraiser for AIDS Arms and partner agencies AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services Dallas, Bryan’s House, Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, Happy Nia, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center Dallas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Youth First Texas.

—  David Taffet

GLBT Chamber hosts Business Expo, a chance to “get away from the elections”

The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce expects this evening’s Business Expo at the Melrose to be its largest.

“It’s an opportunity for the community to meet GLBT chamber members and allies,” Chamber President and CEO Tony Vedda said.

He said this year’s event will feature more exhibitors than ever and has expanded beyond just the ballroom into the Oak Lawn Room as well.

A broad spectrum of businesses and organizations will be represented. Community groups like AIDS Arms and C.U.R.E. will have tables. Southwest Airlines and major banks as well as professional services such as attorneys and therapists will be represented.

The event began as a mixer for Chamber members but has grown to an events attended by hundreds, Vedda said.

“Following the election, a large number of people in the community should be in a good mood,” he said. “Thankfully we can get away from the elections now.”

He invited people to come for a cocktail and meet and mingle with some local LGBT businesspeople. Valet parking and the event are free.

Melrose Hotel. Nov. 7. 4:30–7 p.m. Free.

—  David Taffet

AIDS Arms appoints new CEO

Dr. John T. Carlo

AIDS Arms has selected Dr. John Carlo as its new chief executive officer. Carlo has served in a number of leadership positions with medical and epidemiological organizations, including program director and principal investigator for the University of Minnesota’s BioWatch Program, an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Carlo will begin at the agency December 3. He replaces longtime executive director Raeline Nobles, who is leaving the organization after more than 15 years.

In addition to his work with the BioWatch Program, Carlo’s experience includes serving as medical director and health authority for Dallas County Health and Human Services, as well as the position of Dallas County’s chief epidemiologist, where he helped oversee the creation and operation of a temporary clinic treating more than 10,000 patients during the evacuation of Hurricane Katrina.

“I am truly excited and honored to be joining AIDS Arms, an organization which has such a strong history of supporting our community in the fight against HIV/AIDS,” Carlo said. ”I look forward to working with our dedicated board of directors and a talented staff as we continue the mission to provide outstanding medical and support services to clients and patients.”

Carlo completed his Doctor of Medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, followed by an internship and residency at Baylor University Medical Center.

“We were extremely fortunate to have Raeline Nobles serve us so well for the past 15 years. After a nationwide search led by Scott Chase, JD, to find her successor, I am very excited to have someone of the caliber of Dr. Carlo become our new CEO,” said AIDS Arms Board Chair John Loza. “His experience, intelligence and commitment will serve AIDS Arms well as we move into a new era.”

—  David Taffet

OraQuick home HIV test goes on sale

OraQuick’s flip chart instructions

Orasure’s new in-home OraQuick HIV test is now available in stores.

The test can detect HIV beginning three months after contact. Using it earlier than three months after a “risk event” may not produce an accurate result. Other rapid tests that can detect the virus within a few days of contact are still only available through a doctor or HIV testing facility such as  the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic or the Dallas County Health Department.

Ron Ticho, Orasure’s senior vice president for corporate communications, said this is the same test doctors and other testing facilities have used for 10 years. With more than 25 million tests done, OraQuick is more than 99 percent accurate, he said.

Since receiving approval to offer a home test kit in July, OraSure has trained phone counselors to answer questions and developed and revised its instructional material that comes with the test kit.

“We took some time to develop a test kit the consumer could use,” Ticho said.

He said the kits went through two tests — observed and unobserved. In the observed test, the company watched people open the package and test themselves as they followed the instructions. In the unobserved test, people took the kit home.

—  David Taffet

Miss LifeWalk 2012 crowned

Heather Thomas

The ninth annual Miss LifeWalk Pageant raised more than $20,000 for North Texas AIDS services that benefit from the annual walk. Heather Thomas was crowned Miss LifeWalk.

Tiaras, glamorous gowns and house rocking performances were in full effect at the Rose Room at S4.  The 2012 pageant was produced by the Guys and Dolls LifeWalk Team and hosted by Ima Lush and Victoria Weston.

Guys and Dolls co-captain Jerry McDonald said, “The Guys & Dolls team is so pleased that our charity pageant continues to grow and produces much needed funds for the clients of AIDS Arms, Inc and our Partner Agencies. Each year all the performers and contestants work very hard to create an evening of great talent and fun and without a doubt it gets better each year.”

The 2012 Miss LifeWalk Contestants were Miss Heather Thomas representing Guys & Dolls, Veda Chardonnay representing the Green Team, Brandi Amara Skyy representing Resource Center Dallas, Elizabeth Trail’r, representing the Dallas Voice Elizabeth Trail’rs and Sienna Silver representing Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund.

Special guest performances included Victoria Westin, Jenna Skyy, Gloria Screamer and former Miss LifeWalk winners Anita Nother, Ima Lush, Lotta Pink and Sebrina Starr. The 2012 Miss LifeWalk winning categories are:

Miss Congeniality — Brandi Amara Skyy
Miss Spirit of LifeWalk — Brandi Amara Skyy
Miss Money Bags — Heather Thomas
Evening Wear Winner — Brandi Amara Skyy
Talent Winner — Brandi Amara Skyy
2nd Runner Up — Veda Chardonnay
1st Runner Up — Brandi Amara Skyy

Thomas raised $10,000 of the total alone. All proceeds generated from the pageant go toward LifeWalk, which takes place Sunday, Oct. 7, at Lee Park at 11 a.m. This year’s walk benefits AIDS Arms, Inc. and other partner agencies: AIDS Interfaith Network, AIDS Services of Dallas, Bryan’s House, Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, Happy Nia Dance Company, Legal Hospice of Texas, Resource Center Dallas, Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and Youth First Texas.

—  David Taffet

Hudson and Voskuhl named parade Grand Marshals

Dr. Gene Voskuhl and the Rev. Jo Hudson

Dr. Gene Voskuhl and the Rev. Jo Hudson

The Rev. Jo Hudson of Cathedral of Hope and Dr. Gene Voskuhl of AIDS Arms were chosen as Grand Marshals of the 2012 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade.

Voskuhl just returned from the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C. He said that recent studies show that being disenfranchised and stigmatized leads to greater incidents of HIV infection.

That’s why this year’s parade theme, “Pride Links Us Together” is meaningful to him.

“Be proud,” he said. “You’ll be happier and healthier.”

Voskuhl, who moved to Dallas five years ago, became the medical director of AIDS Arms last August. Gilead transferred him to Dallas from Oklahoma City. Before taking the position at AIDS Arms, he was in private practice with Uptown Physicians.

What he likes best about the Dallas LGBT community is how diverse and integrated it is throughout the DFW area. He said the community reaches into all professions and businesses and the variety of LGBT organizations that cover everything from social to health to religious activities.

Voskuhl is proud of the growth AIDS Arms has seen since he came on board a year ago. The agency’s two clinics now see 1,300 people and the goal is 2,500 by 2015.

“We’re looking to grow,” he said. “We’re only using half of our exam space.”

He said Trinity Clinic was expanding its labs and adding new equipment to provide results quicker and even offer services to other local medical offices. In addition, Metro Care has begun providing on-site mental health and substance abuse evaluation and treatment.

—  David Taffet