Lone Star Ride disbands, 2013 ride was its last

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In this 2013 Dallas Voice file photo, Lone Star Ride distributed $85,000 in proceeds from the 100-mile, one-day bike ride. From left, AIDS Outreach Executive Director Shannon Hilgart, Jackie Jones, AIDS Services of Dallas President and CEO Don Maison, Michael Matthews and Resource Center CEO Cece Cox.

After 13 years of fundraising, the board of directors of Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS announced its 2013 ride was its last, according to a press release the organization released Sunday.

“We’ve seen a decline in sponsors, volunteers and riders, and we felt we had a responsibility to the people donating money to be responsible for that money,” said board president Jacque Borel.

Lone Star Ride raised $28,000 for each of the organization’s three beneficiaries in 2013, but that number fell short of the organization’s goal.

“Based on the return for 2013 and the two prior years, the Board has determined that the effort and expense required to stage a 2014 ride and subsequent events are not justified,” the press release stated.

The money was distributed to AIDS Outreach Center, AIDS Services of Dallas and Resource Center. Since 2001, LSRFA has donated more than $2 million to those agencies, according to its website.

Although Lone Star Ride is disbanding, it acknowledges the fight against HIV/AIDS and the need to serve those affected isn’t over.

“With that in mind, the LSRFA Board of Directors thanks the riders, crew and donors who have shared the road with us the last 13 years, and encourages them to continue the fight by directly supporting AIDS Outreach Center, AIDS Services of Dallas, and Resource Center Dallas,” the organization wrote in the press release.

Borel said the decision to disband Lone Star Ride is “heartbreaking, but we are trying to be good stewards with the money.”

“We’ll have to look for another way to raise money for the beneficiaries,” he said.

—  Steve Ramos

Gaybingo this weekend!

Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 12.31.00 PMOK, we’ll admit to a little self-interest here: The Elizabeth Trail’rs, Dallas Voice’s LifeWalk team, is the charitable raffle sponsor at Gaybingo this weekend. That means while you help Resource Center Dallas — and enjoy yourself with a fabulous series of games — you can also help out our team. We’ve even made it really easy for you: This poster tells you everything you need to know (it’s Saturday, starting at 5 p.m., at the Rose Room) and even includes a QR code for easy scanning.

C’mon! You know you wanna win some faboo swag! Give a guy some love…

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Car, fence damaged in 4th vandalism this year at Resource Center

RCD Vandalism

Windows broken at RCD in May

Vandals threw a brick through a fence at Resource Center Dallas and damaged the hood of a car as well as part of the wooden fence, according to a police report. The car was parked in the fenced lot behind the facility on Reagan Street and the brick was thrown from the alley. The incident took place on Aug. 19.

This is the fourth time the center was hit with vandalism this year, but with no suspects, it’s unclear whether the incidents have been motivated by anti-gay bias. The other incidents involved windows that were broken with rocks thrown from the alley.

After the third incident, Texas Instruments Foundation gave Resource Center Dallas $1,000 to repair the windows and install security cameras.

RCD’s Johnny Humphrey, whose car was damaged in the latest incident, said he isn’t sure whether any of the cameras were pointed far enough down the alley to catch the brick-thrower in the act.

Other incidents of rock throwing have taken place in Oak Lawn, but other properties have not been hit repeatedly.

—  David Taffet

This week’s takeaways: Life+Style

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Following a slowdown right around the Fourth of July, the theater scene is hopping again, with the opening tonight of Uptown Players‘ Kiss of the Spider Woman, pictured, while up in Addison WaterTower continues its super-gay show, Xanadu. Best idea: Check out Spider Woman this weekend and go to LGBT night at WTT on Wednesday, with a pre-show cocktail hour and discounted ticket. Then on Thursday two more shows open: Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown at Teatro Dallas and the first preview for Theatre 3‘s first show of its season, So Help Me God.

If you’re in the mood for a little drag, there’s plenty of options as well. The Hidden Door hosts its 26th annual Leo Party and Miss Leo Contest on Saturday, with proceeds benefiting AIN’s Daire Center. And drag king troupe Mustache Envy gives its fans a gender-bending show at Sue Ellen‘s on Friday.

If you’re in the mood for even more giving, Resource Center Dallas holds a cocktail reception marking its 30th anniversary on Friday, and the Be An Angel fundraiser benefiting Legacy Counseling Center is on Saturday.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

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

Gay discrimination claim against Exxon advances; Resource Center sends letter

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Tico Almeida

The Illinois Department of Human Rights has agreed to investigate a discrimination claim against ExxonMobil brought by the group Freedom to Work.

The Illinois department said the investigation would take up to a year.

Tico Almeida, founder of Freedom to Work, said his group brought the charges in Illinois because that state has some of the country’s strongest protections based on sexual orientation.

In May, the organization sent similar resumes to ExxonMobil for an open position. The difference was that one applicant was lesbian while the other was straight and slightly less qualified. The company contacted the straight woman and held the job open for her even when she didn’t respond. The more qualified lesbian candidate was never contacted.

Locally, Cece Cox, CEO of Resource Center Dallas, sent a letter this week to two ExxonMobil executives — Malcolm Farrant, vice president of human resources, and David Rosenthal, vice president of investor relations and board secretary. Last year, she met with them along with LGBT executives from Dallas-area Fortune 500 companies to discuss implementing nondiscrimination policies.

“As most of my subsequent inquiries to you have gone unanswered, I am writing today to see where things stand on the matters that were discussed,” she wrote.

She references the recent ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and bipartisan Senate committee approval of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this week.

Cox’s full letter is below:

—  David Taffet

Dallas Bears donate $69K to charities

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On Saturday, the Dallas Bears held their annual anniversary dinner and celebration, as well as the installation of the new board of directors (which looks a lot like the previous board), at the Toby Keith Grill … and because they were bears, there was plenty to eat. But in addition to food, fellowship and fondling (well, just a little), they also formalized all their donations from the previous year’s events, including Texas Bear Round Up 18 and food and school supply drives. Among the funds awarded: $33,000 to Youth First Texas, a program of Resource Center Dallas; $16,500 to RCD’s nutrition program; $16,500 to the Sharon St. Cyr Fund (which aids the hearing impaired); and $3,000 in school supplies and food. Add all those up and … hmmmm … that’s $69,000. Repeat: Sixty-nine.

Those bears can even make charity gay.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

TI Foundation gives Resource Center $1K to repair windows broken by vandals

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Police have not caught the rock-throwing vandals who broke nine windows at Resource Center Dallas a few weeks back, in what may or may not have been an anti-LGBT hate crime. But if the suspects try to vandalize the building again, there’s a good chance they’ll be caught on video. The center announced today that the Texas Instruments Foundation has donated $1,000 to replace the broken windows, as well as to install additional security cameras and signage. Pictured above are Center CEO Cece Cox, left, who looks amazingly tall next to Andy Smith, TI’s director of corporate philanthropy.

—  John Wright

Rock-throwing vandals break 9 windows at Dallas’ LGBT community center

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Nine windows were broken at Resource Center Dallas on Thursday, May 30. All of them were along the back wall of the main building facing the alley.

The windows were broken with rocks. No one entered the building and nothing was missing. Computer equipment sits behind some of the windows but nothing was damaged.

In March, four windows were broken by vandals.

“The number is surprising,” RCD spokesman Rafael McDonnell said. “More than we’ve seen previously.”

He said repairing the windows will cost about $300 and the center is looking into buying security cameras.

“Money used for this is money that can’t be used for something else,” he said.

He asked people in the neighborhood who see something suspicious going on in the alley, especially after hours, to call the police.

Dallas police LGBT liaison Laura Martin said there are no suspects and no evidence the vandalism is a hate crime but that motive has not been ruled out.

—  David Taffet

Razzle Dazzle Dallas artifacts help piece together event’s history

In last Friday’s paper, I wrote about the history of Razzle Dazzle Dallas and how this year’s party returns to its roots. While I was researching some of the history, longtime Dallas activist Jack Evans brought some old RDD ads and programs to the office. Below is a 1992 ad for Razzle. Nothing extraordinary about it until I noticed buried in the middle of the text who the entertainment was that year.

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The Dixie Chicks were a local band that performed at Sue Ellen’s every once in awhile. I wonder what ever happened to them. Nice group of women from what I remember. They appeared on my radio show, Lambda Weekly, once, too. Hope they’re doing OK.

—  David Taffet