North Texas GLBT Chamber awards $14,500 in scholarships

The North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce announced winners of its GLBT LEAP — GLBT Leadership Education & Advocacy Program — scholarships. LEAP scholarships are awarded to residents of Texas who self-identified LGBT, members of LGBT families or allies who have been strongly supportive of the LGBT community.

Thanks to a generous donation by Texas Instruments, this year’s scholars include two recipients of the Steve Lyle Educational Scholarship — $2,500 was awarded to Judith Velazquez, of Schulenburg, Tex., who is pursuing a Master of Public Health degree at the University of Texas, and Melvin Rodriguez, of Houston, who is pursuing a Master of International Affairs/International Politics degree at University of California – La Jolla. Lyle served on the first board of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce who retired from Texas Instruments in 2015.

The $2,000 Rob Ruhlin Memorial Law Scholarship was awarded o Adam Greenup, of Arlington. He is attending UNT Dallas College of Law. The scholarship was established by the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce to honor the late Rob Ruhlin, a Chamber board member who lost his life in 2014.

Derek Miller of Fair Oaks Ranch, Tex., was awarded the $1,500 LEAP Film & Television Scholarship. Miller is pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at Texas State University.

Three additional scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each were awarded to Margaret Neuner of San Rafael, Calif. (John F. Kennedy University, Calif.); Jordan Richardson of Lufkin (University of Texas); Matthew Chester of Austin (University of Texas).

Founded in 2009 by the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, GLBT LEAP has awarded 33 scholarships valued at $55,000.

“Scholarships are at the core of the GLBT LEAP mission to support young adults and nurture leaders in the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender community,”said Candy Marcum, GLBT LEAP Board Chair. This year’s cohort of scholars reinforces our mission and demonstrate the breadth of disciplines being pursued by our future leaders.”

—  David Taffet

Razzle Dazzle Dallas distributes proceeds

Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund board, from left, D’wayne Teague, Tony Rox, David Hearn, Greg Wallace and John Cooper Lara

John Cooper Lara, chair of the Razzle Dazzle Dallas board, presented checks to beneficiaries of the June events at Sue Ellen’s on Monday evening.

The Metro Ball, which took place at S4 on June 8 and featured Taylor Dayne, raised $31,500 for the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund. GDMAF provides financial assistance for critical needs through local organizations when other sources are exhausted.

Funds from the Saturday night street party were split among nine beneficiaries. Those organizations were Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Arms, AIDS Interfaith Network, Turtle Creek Chorale, Cedar Springs Beautification Fund, Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage, GLBT Leap, Uptown Players and Legal Hospice of Texas. That party raised $25,000.

Razzle Dazzle Dallas board, from left, Jimmy Bartlett, Johnny Humphrey, Chris Bengston, Thom Dance, John Cooper Lara, Kris Martin, Ron Adams and Howard Okon

—  David Taffet