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|Helping gay youth 'Evolve'|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|April 01, 2010 16:35|
There is no charge for admission to “Evolve!,” YouthPride’s largest fundraiser of the year, so organizers hope attendees will give generously to help prevent suicide by providing counseling for LGBT and questioning youth ages 13-24.
“We do a lot with the assistance of volunteers, but the reality is we still don’t have enough, and we never have,” says Terence McPhaul, YouthPride executive director. “We want to encourage people to really take a look at what we do. … We are much more than safe space.
“We are a safe, supportive development center and we want people to know the vast array of services we offer, and certainly suicide prevention is our most important,” McPhaul says.
“Evolve” is scheduled for April 9 at the Bill Lowe Gallery. DJ Travis Roache will provide music, and attendees will enjoy free appetizers and drinks.
“We couldn’t have picked a better location,” McPhaul says. “The Bill Lowe Gallery is absolutely fabulous and has some of the best artwork in the city. It’s just a really fun time for people to be able to connect.”
“Evolve” is also the name of YouthPride’s counseling program, which is led by Tana Hall, a licensed professional counselor. Counseling is provided free of charge to YouthPride members and their families, and demand is high.
“We believe that our counseling program is the best suicide prevention that we can provide,” Hall says.
YouthPride operates with an annual budget of about $300,000. The agency cites 4,500 visits per year from more than 1,100 individuals.
Last year’s “Evolve” party raised $18,000.
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