WATCH: Dallas Bears Chili Cook-off

The Dallas Bears hosted their first Chili Cook-Off at the Hidden Door on Saturday afternoon. Seventeen LGBT organizations and individual competitors vied for tickets while raising money for charities.

“This year our beneficiaries are Youth First, AIDS Services of Dallas and AIDS Interfaith Network,” said Bears President Wayne Davis.

For $5 local tasters received six spoons, a bowl and a ticket to vote on the best chili.

“Our focus is raising money for AIDS-related charities throughout our community,” said Bears Treasurer Devon DeVasqez.

Despite cool weather, the crowd quickly swelled to more than 150 tasters coming and going.

“We all need to give back to the community in whatever form or fashion we can,” said Larry Finch, former DB president. “Whether it’s our time, our money or just our support to the organizations.”

From “sweet with a kick” to “hot and spicy,” competitors enticed tasters with various prepared chili creations. As the crowd began to fill up and wind down, an auction was held while tickets and scores were tallied.

There were seven winners:

• Best Tasting Chili: The SLUTS

• Best Theme Presentation: The United Court of the Lone Star Empire

• Best Individual Entry: Doctor Dang

• Best Group Entry: TGRA

• Hottest Chili: Discipline Core 2 of 2

• Community Favorite, which received the most tickets: United Court of the Lone Star Empire

But the grand title, Best Overall, went to Butch Compton.

“It’s all out of good fun,” Compton said upon receiving his trophy and certificate. “I enjoy the happiness on people’s faces when they eat something that’s tasty.”

—  admin

Dennis Coleman to be named ED of Equality Texas

Dennis Coleman

Dallas Voice has learned that Dennis Coleman will be named the new executive director of Equality Texas. Coleman has served as executive director of Lambda Legal’s South Central Region, based in Dallas, for more than six years.

This is the second consecutive time Equality Texas tapped the Dallas talent pool for its top position. Previous Executive Director Paul Scott, who stepped down earlier this year, came from Resource Center Dallas.

Coleman would become only the second African-American director of a statewide equality organization, after Nadine Smith of Equality Florida, according to Toni Broaddus, executive director of the Equality Federation.

In a letter to the Lambda Legal Leadership Committee dated Friday, July 2, Coleman wrote:

“I have had the privilege for the past six and half years to lead the South Central Region, building on the good work of those who championed the creation of a presence for Lambda Legal in the afterglow of Lawrence v. Texas. The staff here in Dallas, and New York alongside many dedicated volunteers have made Lambda Legal a known force in the struggle for equality. When I came to Lambda Legal,  I had a vision for the organization,  to tell the story of Lambda Legal, and how it along with the sometimes better know pantheon of GLBT organizations, was making a significant difference in the continued advancement of legal rights for all Americans, regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity. Happily we have achieved success in making Lambda Legal a vital part of the community here in Texas and around the South Central Region.

“So while the work will continue, it must, I have decided that the time is right for me to move on to the next chapter in my personal journey and professional pursuits as the Executive Director of Equality Texas. In consultation with the leadership in New York and to maintain a smooth transition, my last day will be Friday, July 16, 2010. In the coming days and weeks as I wind down my work here, there will be further communication on any pending projects and programs and how those will be managed moving forward.

“My continued wish for the organization is that it will continue to make a difference and look forward to celebrating future victories for equality.”

Equality Texas was expected to make a formal announcement on Tuesday or Wednesday. For a full story, see Friday’s Voice.

UPDATE: Read Equality Texas’ press release by going here.

—  David Taffet