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|YouthPride halfway to fundraising goal, remains open despite Dec. 31 deadline|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|January 12, 2012 14:39|
YouthPride has raised approximately $20,000 in the past few weeks and remains open and operating, despite a plea from its executive director that the agency would shut down in 60 days if $40,000 was not raised by Dec. 31.
Terence McPhaul is executive director of YouthPride, the agency that serves metro Atlanta lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13-24. He said in an interview Wednesday that the agency has raised about half of its fundraising goal of $40,000. While the Dec. 31 deadline has passed, he added the agency has extended its deadline for reaching the goal.
"We don't have a specific date in mind, but we are closing in on one," McPhaul said. "There's going to come a stopping point for sure."
McPhaul said the agency continues to offer its regular programming and operate at its normal hours. The operating budget, he said, is being paid by donations.
"We are still making requests [for donations], still having meetings [with prospective donors]. We've only raised about half of what we need," he said. "The bills don't stop."
On Dec. 16, McPhaul said YouthPride needed to raise $40,000 by Dec. 31 or be forced to close in 60 days.
YouthPride Board President Jordan Myers posted on his personal Facebook page on Dec. 9 that YouthPride needed to raise $25,000 in one week. That was after McPhaul said in an interview that he wished the agency had $50,000. Myers has declined interview requests, saying all media information would go through McPhaul.
In a phone interview Jan. 11, McPhaul said he is working 16-hour days and in constant meetings. He added he is hopeful the LGBT community will contribute to the agency.
"We have hopes that some people will come through [with donations]. These are some people who have never donated before and heard what was going on and wanted to see if they could help," he said. "We are hoping people in our community will support us. There's not been as much support as we'd like before."
The plea for financial help does not seem to have changed the day-to-day operations of YouthPride. McPhaul said all programs are still being offered free to clients and bills are being paid through donations.
The YouthPride board has not met in "awhile," McPhaul acknowledged. He said the board meets quarterly rather than monthly as it did in the past.
Board members as listed on the YouthPride website are Jordan Myers, president; Frances-Ann Moran, vice president; Marlys Bergstrom, Sarah Berlin, Jamie Ensley, Gabriel Haggray, Randy New, Theresa Willis and Seth Woodard Persily.
Moran said in an email that she is not that involved with YouthPride anymore because she now lives in North Carolina. When asked about Moran's role on the board, even though she lives in North Carolina, McPhaul said that does not mean she is not involved with the board. But when it was pointed out that Moran said she is not active with YouthPride anymore, McPhaul said board questions should be addressed to Myers. Myers has not yet responded to a request for comment.
Photo: YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul. (via YouTube)
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