Doughman: Berryman has returned missing funds

Michael-Doughman-2013

Michael Doughman

Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman released a statement today indicating that the guild’s former assistant director, David Berryman, has returned the full amount he has admitted taking from the Tavern Guild’s accounts.

Here is Doughman’s statement in full:

“We are pleased to announce that the entire amount of money taken from the Dallas Tavern Guild has been returned and we will be able to finish out the 2016 year as originally planned. We appreciate that David Berryman did the right thing and stepped up to accept his mistake and has made every effort to rectify that situation. We look forward to putting this all behind us and moving forward with a new, stronger structure for managing our finances and maintaining a better oversight to avoid the possibility of this ever occurring again.

“I also want to extend a very special thank-you to all of our partners, sponsors, members and beneficiary agencies for staying firmly in support of our mission, our transparency and our commitment to the future. Many within that group have commended us for handling the situation with forethought, calm maturity and a steady focus to come to the best resolution for all parties.

“We want to assure our community that the Dallas Tavern Guild will continue to create the best possible events and promote the best image of our organization. We thank you for your patience as we work through this and we pledge to do better in the future.”

—  Tammye Nash

We’re the Best! Vote for Oak Lawn as Best Gayborhood

Best gayborhoods

So, here’s your chance to show your Texas Pride. OutTraveler.com, the online travel site that caters to the LGBT community, is in the midst of its annual Out Traveler Awards. The category up for votes right now is “Best Gayborhood,” and Dallas’ Oak Lawn is one of 10 contenders for the title.

OutTraveler.com calls the “Best Gayborhood” content “the most contentious” and “the most controversial” category in the Out Traveler Awards:

“We have ownership in the neighborhoods we consider our own; those places we can let our hair down and be ourselves. But what really makes the best LGBT neighborhood? Is it restaurants, bars, walkability, clean streets, public transit, or safety? Think long and hard before you vote, because the top queer area may not be the one down the street, but the enclave we discovered while on vacation or during a work trip.”

The site explains that Out Traveler editors chose the 10 nominees on the list, but “we’re amenable to write in candidates in the comments section.” Other nominees are Boystown in Chicago, Boystown in West Hollywood/Los Angeles, Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan/NYC, Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., the Castro in San Francisco, Wilton Manors in Ft. Lauderdale, Washington Square West in Philadelphia, Midtown in Atlanta and Capitol Hill in Seattle.

Dallas Tavern Guild, the association of LGBT nightclubs that puts on Dallas’ LGBT Pride events each year, is rooting for Oak Lawn to win the award, and Executive Director Michael Doughman urged everyone to go to the site to vote.

“We have some good competition but I know if we make an effort we can win this award,” Doughman said. We may not have won much in the midterm elections, but we have a chance for national recognition for our community. Let’s do this!”

The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau is also urging everyone to vote for Oak Lawn.

But do it quickly. The polls close two weeks from yesterday (Tuesday, Nov. 11), and winners will be announced the first week in December.

—  Tammye Nash

And the 2014 Voice of Pride winner is …

Reynolds, Ramalho, Guzman

… Loni Reynolds!

Loni wowed the audience and the judges in her three appearances — two solos, finishing up with a powerful version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” and in a duet with fellow finalist Lauren Shafer on Adele’s “Someone Like You” — to take the 11th annual title. In fact, Loni was so good, she and Lauren jointly won the “best duet” award, voted on by the audience, meaning she took home $3,850 — not bad for one evening’s work!

First runner up was Alvaro Ramalho, followed by Vanessa Guzman, Carlos Saenz and Steve Patterson. Congrats, Loni and all the contestants on a great show. And look for Loni, Alvaro and Vanessa in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and festival next month.

You can see a slide show of the event by clicking here.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

No Family Pride Zone at Lee Park this year

Doughman.Michael.color

Michael Doughman

Dallas Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman has announced that the Family Pride Zone will not return to the Festival in Lee Park this year. The Tavern Guild is the organization that produces the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade — Dallas’ annual LGBT Pride parade — each year and the festival held immediately following the parade.

“The Family Pride Zone at the Festival in Lee Park last year was an absolute social success and the community responded very positively to its presence as a part of Dallas Pride. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great financial success,” Doughman said in a letter to sponsors who had already signed up for the Family Pride Zone this year. “Due to that fact and the lack of sponsorship dollars for 2014, we have had to cancel all plans for a Family Pride Zone at the 2014 Festival in Lee Park.”

Doughman went on to say DTG officials considered the Family Pride Zone “a valuable and exciting new growth piece to Dallas Pride,” and added that organizers “are not abandoning the concept and plan an aggressive sponsorship campaign for next year to garner funding to produce the Family Pride Zone in 2015.”

He said that any sponsorship fees for Family Pride Zone 2014 that have already been paid will be refunded.

The Family Pride Zone, held last year for the first time, was a section of Lee Park set aside as an alcohol-free, family-friendly area designated specifically for families with younger children. Doughman noted that Dallas Pride was the first Pride celebration in Texas to establish such a space.

For information on being part of Family Pride Zone 2015, email Doughman at michaeldoughman@sbcglobal.net or call 214-358-4006.

—  Tammye Nash

Voice of Pride finalists selected

VOP13 - Finalist Group Photo

Last night at the Round-Up Saloon, the contestants who have been vying all summer to be crowned the 2013 Voice of Pride got whittled down to a final 10. These 10 will compete on Aug. 11 at the Rose Room in the final showdown of the year; the winner gets bragging rights and the chance to sing at the festival in Lee Park following the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, plus $3,500 in cash and two round-trip airline tickets and a hotel stay at a luxury Hilton.

Congratulations to all the finalists, listed here in alphabetical below:

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Voice of Pride under way; Tavern Guild accepting grand marshal nominations

VOP13

Dallas may not celebrate Pride in June — which some would apparently prefer — but we do have Voice of Pride, which is well under way and continues tonight at the Dallas Eagle. In addition, the Dallas Tavern Guild is now accepting nominations for grand marshals for September’s Pride parade. Submit your nomination by by going here.

—  John Wright

Journalists arrive for 10th annual Dallas International LGBT Travel Writers tour

GLBT Press tour

The 10th annual GLBT press tour comes to North Texas May 8-12, and the seven writers participating begin arriving today. This year’s group includes three writers from the U.S. and one each from Canada, France, Germany and the U.K.

This year’s tour includes Fort Worth and a night at the Wildcatter Ranch in Graham. Dallas sites on the tour include the Arts District, the Perot Museum and an art tour. The cuisine includes Hunky’s, Original Market Diner and a fine steak house.

Wednesday night is a welcome at the Rose Room at 6 p.m., and Sunday includes optional worship at Cathedral of Hope.

Check out this Friday’s Voice for more information about the press tour and the marketing of North Texas as an LGBT travel destination.

—  David Taffet

Tree planted in Lee Park honors people who died from AIDS

Tavern Guild Tree SlopeA new cedar elm tree has been planted in Lee Park to remember Alan Ross. The tree is part of an AIDS memorial that will be dedicated in June.

Ross was a longtime Pride parade organizer, Tavern Guild executive director and community volunteer who died of AIDS in 1995.

Ross also worked several years with the park department to get space for an AIDS memorial in Lee Park, but not until after park management was taken over by the nonprofit Lee Park Conservancy was it approved.

The original tree planted as a memorial died and was removed several years ago. Lee Park Conservancy wanted the space as part of a new landscaping feature that is being installed. Dallas Tavern Guild, which oversees the AIDS memorial, was offered other spaces in the park to install a new memorial.

Tavern Guild Executive Director Michael Doughman said they chose a space along the new main Turtle Creek/Lemmon Avenue walkway.

A plaque will be installed at the space and a re-dedication will take place on June 22 at 11 a.m. Doughman said he is lining up speakers and entertainment and inviting city officials and other honored guests.

—  David Taffet

More on LGBT holiday fundraisers

Tavern Guild members put together and distributed gift baskets for clients of area AIDS service providers today

With so many holiday charity fundraising activities going on in the LGBT community this week, there wasn’t room to talk about all of them in Friday’s print edtiion. Here’s a little more about some of the projects and how to give:

—  David Taffet

Pride festival changes called a success

There was more green at the Festival in Lee Park this year — both in terms of open space and money raised for the gay Pride beneficiaries. (Chuck Dube/Dallas Voice)

Ultimately it might be impossible to say by how much attendance was down at Sunday’s gay Pride Festival in Lee Park.

But according to Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, we do know this: Approximately 5,300 people paid $5 each to get into the festival.

Beyond that, Doughman estimated there were 700 unpaid attendees who received complimentary wristbands through festival vendors or groups that marched in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, which would bring the total crowd to 6,000.

In previous years, about 7,500 people attended the festival, according to Doughman, which would mean a 20 percent drop — in line with what organizers predicted after they decided to fence in the park and charge admission for the first time.

But Doughman said precise attendance figures for previous years — or even this year, since we don’t know how many who received complimentary wristbands actually showed up — simply don’t exist.

And even if they did, he added, they wouldn’t really matter. In Doughman’s view, critics who predicted disaster for the festival as a result of the $5 admission charge clearly were proven wrong. And the Tavern Guild, which organizes both the Pride parade and festival, was vindicated.

“We got tons of compliments from people who were in the park, not only vendors but just from people who attended,” Doughman said. “It may have been less headcount, but we think the quality of event was highly improved.”

—  John Wright