GALLERY: Miss Red Pageant benefits Legacy

Krystal Summers hosted the first Miss Red Pageant benefitting Legacy Counseling Center last night (Thursday, April 7) at the Brick. Contestants included Gloria Devine, Alexandra DeVane, Raquel Blake and Onyx Anderson with a special performance by Dallas Sheraton. Jenna Skyy was among the judges. Raquel Blake was crowned the winner.

Legacy Executive Director Melissa Grove said the new Red Foundation board had so many ideas and she was excited about working with them over the next year.

—  David Taffet

Black Tie Dinner: The Evening in Photos, Part 1

This is the first of two posts of photos from the 2015 Black Tie Dinner, held Saturday night, Nov. 14, at Sheraton Dallas Hotel. The fundraiser featured speeches by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Kuchling Award winner Melissa Grove, marriage plaintiff Jim Obergefell, E! Entertainment Vice President Jim Olde, a representative of The Trevor Project, HRC President Chad Griffin and more.

Dana Goldberg emceed the evening, with entertainment by Well Strung, Ty Herndon and Betty Who.

First of two photo slideshow posts. Photos by Tammye Nash

—  Tammye Nash

Black Tie Dinner announces entertainment and awards

Black Tie Dinner held a reception at Park Place Motors on Aug. 6 attended by more than 1,000 people to announce the entertainment and award winners for its Nov. 14 dinner.

Legacy Counseling Center Executive Director Melissa Grove will receive the Kuchling Award for service to the community. As ch-chair John Lawrimore said, everyday, Melissa saves lives in our community.

The Elizabeth Birch Award will be presented to The Trevor Project, the LGBT teen suicide hotline.

Comedian Dana Goldberg who entertained at last year’s dinner and helped with the live auction will serve as emcee for the evening.

The string quartet Well Strung, singer/songwriter Betty Who and country singer Ty Herndon will perform.

U.S. Supreme Court marriage-equality case winner Jim Obergefell will be back in Dallas as Black Tie Dinner Distinguished guest.

—  David Taffet

PHOTOS: Red on the Runway fashion show and fundraiser

The Red Party Foundation — the charitable fundraising wing of Legacy Counseling and Founders Cottage — held its third annual runway fashion show at Sisu Uptown on Saturday night, and the stars were out … as were a few moons if you stood in the right spot. The show, which included designers like ES Collection, Aussie Bum, Edo Popken and more, was a dazzling parade of sexy looks, lubricated by Equality Vodka.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Let’s hear it for Melissa: Happy 19th Anniversary

Melissa Grove

Melissa Grove, Legacy Counseling executive director (Photo by Chuck Marcelo)

No matter how dedicated you are, working in the HIV/AIDS field is a draining profession. For so many, many years, people were dying so quickly. Our AIDS activists were fighting to save their friends, and every death took a little more from them. Those involved with HIV/AIDS, whether as activists or caregivers — or both — burned out quickly.

Treatments have improved over the years. People with HIV/AIDS are living longer now, with better quality of life. But still, it is a difficult field in which to work.

And that’s what makes people like Melissa Grove, executive director of Legacy Counseling Center, so very, very special.

Today, the Legacy Counseling staff used the agency’s Facebook page to wish Grove a happy 19thanniversary as Legacy’s ED, and thank her for her service to the agency and to the community:

“Happy 19 year anniversary to our Executive Director, Melissa Grove M.S., LPC!

“Melissa Grove, M.S., LPC, Executive Director, has a background in Geri-Psychiatrics, Supported Housing, and Mental Health management. Ms. Grove has worked with Legacy since 1992 and opened and managed Legacy Founders Cottage since its inception in 1996. Prior to her position at Legacy Counseling Center she managed a sixty bed psychiatric unit for ADAPT of Texas, Inc. Other experiences include working with clients with schizophrenia, emotionally disturbed children, alcoholic Mescalero Indians, adults with retardation, terminally ill elderly and Haitian families. She has done research on the computerized DSM program, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for Veterans, and attachment disorder. A therapist herself, Ms. Grove mans the 24 hour a day suicide crisis line for Legacy.

“Thank you for all of your leadership and commitment to Legacy over the years! From founding the Founders Cottage to opening our housing programs to putting together the largest conference in the nation for HIV positive women themselves, you are touching to many lives of those living with HIV/AIDS in unimaginable ways.

“Thank you!”

On behalf of the staff at Dallas Voice, let me just add that Melissa Grove is one of the nicest, funniest, craziest and most genuine people we have ever had the pleasure of working with. She has also always been wiling to work with us and make herself accessible to us whenever we need her help or input on a story.

Melissa, you make our jobs so much easier, even when you are not having the easiest time. Like your staff, we appreciate you, we love you and we hope to have the chance to work with you for many years to come.

—  Tammye Nash

Storm damages Legacy’s building


All the glass is missing from the skylight at Legacy Counseling Center

Yesterday’s torrential storm did damage all around the city, and one space not spared was Legacy Counseling Center.

Melissa Grove, executive director of Legacy, jokes that she was “lying in her office getting a suntan,” because the storm blew out the atrium skylight window at the agency’s McKinney Avenue headquarters and counseling office.

“Despite the roof being blown off, we continued to serve our clients, because that’s what we do,” Grove said.

She said the building lost electricity and suffered some water damage. Pieces of the skylight smashed through the windshield of one agency counselor’s car.

Grove  said everyone is safe and agency operations continue as normal, but I suggested it might be a good fundraising opportunity.

“Hey, I’ll always ‘ho’ out for donations,” Grove said. Donations to help repair office damage can be made here.

—  David Taffet

Legacy begins 25th anniversary celebration with Mad Men and PositiviTea

Mad-MenLegacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage kicks off its 25th anniversary celebration in March with Mad Men, Cocktails and Canapes, a 1960s-inspired cocktail party.

This exclusive event features live ’60s-era entertainment provided by Vince Martinez. Bartenders will be shaking and stirring Martinis, Manhattans, Old Fashions, and Pink Ladies. Savory hors d’oeuvres and traditional canapés will also be served to top off the 60s atmosphere.

So, dress in your best 1960s attire to mingle among the Grace Kellys, Marilyn Monroes, Jackie Kennedys and Rock Hudsons.

positivitea“This weekend of celebratory events kicks off our 25 year anniversary. We start with an elegant evening of Mad Men, then have a late tea the next day at Positivitea,” Legacy Executive Director Melissa Grove said.

Mad Men takes place at Sky Club Roof Top Lounge at the Mayfair on Turtle Creek, 3401 Lee Parkway on March 1 from 7–10 p.m. Tickets are available online.

PositiviTea is a celebration of the special talents and gifts of the Grace Project women living with HIV. The event features a showcase of Dallas fashion and art and takes place at Royal Sixty, 150 Turtle Creek Blvd., #202 on March 2 from 3–5 p.m.

“We are asking the community to consider becoming an elite Silver Season Pass Holder, which entitles you to all of our events and special treatment, along with things like naming rights to the counseling and Cottage rooms,” Grove said. “We hope that people will acknowledge our anniversary by showing their support for us.”

—  David Taffet

Alexis Jordan, DJ Corey Craig headline Red Party benefitting Legacy

Pop singer Alexis Jordan and New York DJ Corey Craig will headline the fourth annual Red Party, a benefit for Legacy Counseling Center and Founders Cottage.

The Friday night, Sept. 14 event takes place at the Fashion Industry Gallery (f.i.g) in Downtown Dallas.

“This year’s Red Party line-up is absolutely phenomenal with pop-sensation Alexis Jordan singing her #1 dance hits, ‘Happiness’ and ‘Good Girl,'” Red Party co-founder and president Jared Pearce said.

He called former Dallas resident Craig’s reputation “world renowned.”

Jordan rose to fame through her appearance on the first season of America’s Got Talent and then was picked up by Stargate and rapper Jay-Z and signed to their joint label, StarRoc. Jordan’s debut single, “Happiness,” reached No. 1 in the Netherlands and Norway, became a top-three hit in the U.K. and rose to the No. 1 position on the Billboard Hot Dance chart in the U.S. Her sophomore single, “Good Girl,” became her second song to become a Billboard Dance Club chart topper.

—  David Taffet

Kickoff tonight for Red Party, now in 3rd year

The kickoff party for the Third Annual Red Party benefiting Legacy Counseling Center is tonight at ilume. The Red Party is set for Sept. 15 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Tickets go on sale Saturday and will be available on the Red Party website. For sponsorship opportunities or more info, email Red Party Foundation co-founder Jared Pearce at A full press release is below.

—  John Wright

Legacy Counseling Center receives Meadows grant

Melissa Grove

Money will help agency provide counseling to people who are unable to afford care

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer

Legacy Counseling Center has received a $25,000 grant from the Meadows Foundation.

This is the second grant the agency has received from the foundation. The first was in 1997. That grant helped Legacy open Legacy Founders Cottage, the Oak Cliff facility that provides special care in a homelike environment for people living with AIDS in critical stages of their illness who require 24-hour supervision.

Legacy Counseling Center is the Southwest’s largest provider of mental health and substance abuse services directed specifically to persons challenged with HIV and AIDS.

The grant will help provide counseling for people who can’t otherwise afford it and don’t fit other grant sources.

Legacy Executive Director Melissa Grove said, “This grant allows us to accept anyone who needs care.”

She said that Meadows used to focus more on capital improvement funding. Her organization used the money from the 1997 grant to make the cottage more handicapped accessible with more security.

“Those are benefits that are lasting to this day,” she said.

With the current economy, she said, Meadows opened their funding to other types of services.

“One of the reasons we requested the funding,” she said, “We’re seeing more people than ever with so many people out of work.”

She said that over the years issues among her clients has changed.

“When I first started, we were helping people deal with the fact they were going to die,” Grove said. “Now we help people learn how to live.”

But even over the last few years, she said, the issues have changed. There’s a lot more workplace stress today.

“While it’s illegal to fire someone who is positive, it happens all the time,” she said. “If someone is positive and driving up the premiums, that’s the first person laid off.”

Grove was proud of her agency’s quick response when necessary.

“This morning we got a call from the health department about someone in crisis,” she said. “We got them in within 30 minutes.”

She also told the success story of one of her clients who gave her a signed release to tell the story. She said he had been homeless for years. He came to the cottage from Parkland.

“We got him healthy, on HIV meds for the first time and into our substance abuse program,” she said.

Now he’s living in his own apartment for the first time, functioning and coming to group. Grove said that while he’s on disability now, she has even higher hopes for him in the future.

She said that was an example of an extreme case that is now easier for Legacy to handle with the grant money.

Meadows Foundation was founded in 1948 and has provided more than half a billion dollars to more than 2,000 Texas agencies in Texas.

—  John Wright