PFLAG Denver Scholarship Awards Ceremony

Please join us for the 2016 PFLAG Denver Scholarship Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room behind the CHUN Mansion located at 1290 Williams Street, Denver.

We have doubled the award amounts this year, with our top Elinor and Tom Lewallen Award set at $5,000, and another two scholarships now valued at $2,500 each.

The committee is excited about our 2016 applicants! All applications are currently being evaluated using our rubric, and we have added phone interviews with the top candidates as part of our evaluation process. We had 14 students apply this year, including three straight ally students, two transgender, one gay, and six lesbian students. It gets better and more difficult to make our final choices every year. What a wonderful challenge to have!

All of our 2016 accomplished applicants have expressed themselves in wonderful personal essays that display incredible stories of personal growth, and indicate strong commitment to diversity while demonstrating leadership roles. We look forward to our final recipients speaking to us at the May 5 ceremony, where you can get to know them better and learn about their goals, passions, and influence as they travel into the world to further advance our LGBTQ community.

If our delicious spread of hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, punch, and sparkling conversation doesn’t lure you in, know that leaving this event will make you feel uplifted and thrilled for the future! Come out and support these wonderful award recipients, see for yourself why the future’s so bright, they’ve gotta wear shades.

The New Families Support Group will meet as usual at 6:30 p.m. and participants are invited to join the awards ceremony at 7:30.

Scholarship Fundraiser a Great Success

By Steve Lee-O’Neal
The Denver PFLAG Scholarship Program held a rousing annual fundraiser on February 27 at the Wash Park Studio in Denver! Months of planning by the scholarship committee paid off as the actionpacked evening began at 6 p.m. for VIP PFLAG members, with invited guests arriving between 7 and 10 p.m. Our Chinese New Year theme brightened the space with decorations, and many Chinese zodiac red fire monkeys were spotted around the room. The coveted red plush monkeys auctioned off so fast it was amazing!

There was much to see, buy, and experience during the event, which raised more than $22,000 for our scholarship program! The auctioneer and emcees, Shelly St. John from Auction Divas, and Jerry Cunningham, owner of Out Front magazine, kept the event fresh and fast-paced as both the exciting silent and live auction items were snapped up by our wonderful supporters throughout the evening. Delicious catering, fine wine, some local beer, and a community panel added to the enjoyment, and some burlesque entertainment and dance music rounded out the evening.

To begin the program, our guests enjoyed listening to Daniel Ramos of One Colorado, Jerry Cunningham, and Carrie Schiff, who read the special letter from NY Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. A video featuring the accomplishments of one of last year’s scholarship recipients highlighted how our program supports ongoing LGBTQ and ally leadership. And after the live auction, a panel with Margaret Burd and Becky Brinkman, State Representative Beth McCann, Erin Bennett who is running for Senate District 31, Koren Vining from Foresters Financial, and Councilwoman Robin Kniech fielded LGBTQ community questions ranging from marriage equality, to community support, to LGBTQspecific financial topics.

This year’s gift donors, our event bidders, program participants, our eversupportive chapter members, and especially Dean Lewallen, Price Jepsen, and Rex O’Neal have shown us how important our ongoing program is to the state of Colorado! We have successfully doubled our 2016 awards to provide a $5,000 Elinor and Tom Lewallen Scholarship Award, and two $2,500 awards, too!

We plan to use the momentum from this year’s event to engage even more community and business support for next year. Please join us next year on February 11 for our 2017 annual scholarship fundraiser! We look forward to another rousing event with local support and new talent, and to seeing you there as our program continues to raise money for our worthwhile cause. We believe that rewarding strong youth leadership is essential to a strong community and a vibrant economy.

A great big thank you to the hardworking scholarship committee for this year’s sensational success. Great job, team!

Read more about PFLAG Denver happenings in the newsletter.

January 7: Support Group But No Program

There will be no program in January, but the New Families Support Group will meet as usual at 6:30 p.m. on January 7. The new Latino/a Families Support Group is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, January 13, at 6:30 p.m.

Because of low attendance at most programs in 2015, the Board has decided to schedule programs only on a quarterly basis. Programs in 2016 will be offered in February, May, August, and December.

The PFLAG Denver Board of Directors invites our members, volunteers, and their guests to join us the evening of February 4 for our Annual Meeting/ Member Appreciation Day. On this day we will celebrate our members for their support. We plan to have refreshments and snacks for the meeting, along with a fun night full of conversation. We encourage our members to provide us with feedback, so please feel free to come with questions. The PFLAG Denver chapter will also be presenting our goals for the New Year.

This day will give us the opportunity to show our appreciation to our members who have generously contributed and supported PFLAG over the years. We will meet at the CHUN mansion at 7:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

Happy Holiday from PFLAG Denver!