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|YouthPride screens classics for a cause|
|Written by Ryan Watkins|
|Friday, 13 May 2011 00:00|
Atlanta LGBT youth organization YouthPride hosts its annual Night on the Boulevard fundraiser May 20 to benefit its HIV Prevention Department.
Attendees are asked to wear their best nightwear, pajamas or loungewear to the benefit held at Ansley Park Playhouse. There will be a red carpet from 7-7:30 p.m. open to all guests with photographers posing as paparazzi. Tickets to the fundraiser start at $100 and include admission as well as food and beverages.
Event co-organizer and YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul said the event began around 10 years ago as a gathering of friends to watch old movies.
“Before it was a private affair,” McPhaul said. “It really started as a slumber party.”
Now, “it’s basically a film festival,” he said. “The community loves old movies.”
No one under 25 will be admitted, according to McPhaul. A special event will be held for the organization’s younger supporters beforehand, including a reception and a chance to interact with the fundraiser’s celebrity guests, but once the fundraiser starts, younger attendees will be asked to leave.
Last year’s fundraiser was a success, raking in some $7,500 dollars toward the organization’s HIV Prevention Department.
“We’d like to do at least that this year,” McPhaul said of the current fundraising goal.
This year, Night on the Boulevard will trim from three movies to two. “Sunset Boulevard” and “Mildred Pierce” will be shown.
Attending the festival will be a handful of celebrities who McPhaul said will be immediately recognizable. “You’ll have to attend to see who they are,” he said.
“Sunset Boulevard,” the 1950 classic, will be shown at the fundraiser. The film, starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, features one of the most famous lines in all of cinema, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” “Sunset Boulevard” was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and is widely considered one of Hollywood’s classics.
Also screening at the fundraiser is “Mildred Pierce,” a 1945 film starring Joan Crawford as the title character. Crawford won an Oscar for her performance as Mildred, who tries to find success after her cheating husband leaves her. HBO’s new series “Mildred Pierce” is rekindling interest in the film, according to McPhaul.
McPhaul said attendance at YouthPride events is up some 38 percent so far in 2011.
Demand for YouthPride’s services has outpaced funding, McPhaul said.
“We test several hundred people a year,” McPhaul said of the organization’s HIV Prevention Department. “We’d like to enhance that to serve more people.”
YouthPride is also considering moving to a larger space.
“We are looking for a larger space. There are a lot of hoops to jump through,” McPhaul noted.
YouthPride’s current offices are located on Edgewood Avenue near Inman Park. Its facilities are 4,100 sq. ft. according to its website.
YouthPride provides counseling, HIV testing and other services to LGBT teenagers and young adults. The organization also runs the Evolve! program aimed at suicide prevention for LGBT youth and hosts weekly discussion groups for Atlanta’s LGBT youth.
Top photo: Last year, Dwight Eubanks of ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ walked the red carpet for YouthPride’s Night on the Boulevard benefit. Organizers are staying mum on celebrity guests for this year’s event, set for May 20. (courtesy YouthPride)
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