MySweetWishList: Resource Center

According to Resource Center Grants and Foundation Manager Dave Wehrly,

“The only program of its kind in North Texas, Resource Center’s Youth First program serves middle and high school aged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, ages 12 to 18, and equips them with the skills and resources they need to lead an authentic life.

Youth First*

“Shortly after Max came out of the closet at the age of 14, his parents became concerned when his grades began to drop and he was often ‘too sick’ to go to school. They suspected that he was being bullied, and turned to Resource Center’s Youth First program. After working with his mental health counselor at Youth First, Max revealed to his parents that he was being bullied at school to the point that he was having thoughts of suicide. Today, through counseling, Max has learned that when he shares what is happening to him at school, his parents can be a source of help and support. Over the past year, Max has been actively involved in many of Youth First’s weekly programs and activities including Healthy Relationship Workshops, Art Club, and Friday Family Dinners.

Resource Center*

“’He is doing better in school and behaving more like the Max we used to know,’ his mother says. ‘I don’t know where he would be today without Youth First. God has put this wonderful program in our lives, and we truly believe it has saved Max’s life.’

“’I really, really love Youth First! I went from literally having zero friends and feeling lonely and depressed, to having lots of friends and being much happier,’ Max says. ‘This was my first summer being a part of Youth First, and the summer art program along with all the field trips and weekly family dinners really opened my eyes to this amazing place. I’ve met so many cool people too! Youth First is a safe place that lets me to be myself and feel accepted. I don’t know where I would go or what I would do without it. Thank you!

Youth First*

“’My wish this holiday is that other teens who are being bullied at school will find their way to Youth First like I did.’

“To donate to Youth First and support LGBTQ youth like Max, contact Cameron Hernholm at [email protected] or go to myresourcecenter.org.

“Mission: Resource Center is a trusted leader that empowers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities and providing transformative education and advocacy.”

-By Dave Wehrly, Resource Center Grants and Foundation manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Resource Center

Resource Center Kicked Off World AIDS Day On The Night Before At Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh With The Red Ribbon Bash

Leave it to Resource Center to always be a step ahead of the rest. While World AIDS Day is annually celebrated on December 1, the Center opted to start the festivities plus fundraising at the Red Ribbon Bash on Wednesday, November 30, at the Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh. In addition to the partying, the event also served as a reminder that AIDS continues to devastate the people of the world. Here is a report from the field:

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, Resource Center held a Red Ribbon event at Le Méridien, The Stoneleigh on Thursday, November 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Observed on the first of December each year, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to honor those who have died from the disease. Red Ribbon provided the community an opportunity to kick off the holidays while coming together for a cause in a beautiful and historic setting. For more than 30 years, the Center has served the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community as well as all people affected by HIV/AIDS and all proceeds from the event support the Center’s services and programs.

Along with staff and volunteers, Resource Center’s Chief Executive Officer Cece Cox welcomed over 75 sponsors, guests and board members to the festively decorated penthouse of Le Meridien, Stoneleigh Hotel which overlooks the Dallas skyline. After a fun photo opportunity in the foyer, attendees adorned in red ribbons and holiday apparel enjoyed music while mixing and mingling in the lavish living room and library originally designed by Dorothy Draper. Built in 1923, The Stoneleigh has a rich history of haunted tales and secret passageways and was a perfect venue for the Red Ribbon event.

Chris Parker*

Tasty signature cocktails such as a Basil Gimlet and Ruby Slipper were provided by Stoli and contained flavored vodka such as blueberry, raspberry, citrus and vanilla. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres created by Stoneleigh’s in-house chefs were offered such as Wild Mushroom and Beef Wellington, Cheese Corn Cakes with Avocado, and Chili Rubbed Shrimp on a White Cheddar and Jalapeno Grit Cake. The formal dining room was dedicated to delicious sweets from The Original Cupcakery and were paired with a hot cocoa and coffee bar complete with toasted coconut, mini marshmallows, candied orange peels, peppermint, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and whipped cream.

Red Ribbon Bash Christmas tree ornaments*

Party-goers also had the opportunity to purchase beautiful glittered Christmas ornaments to decorate their own Christmas tree and each ornament was available at a different sponsor level. The purchase of a $30 ornament represented a gift of a daily hot meal for a client living with HIV for one month from the Center’s food pantry. The purchase of a $60 ornament represented the gift of vital, fresh groceries for a person living with HIV for an entire month from the Center’s food pantry. The purchase of a $90 ornament represented the gift of an educational guest speaker and lunch for one HIV support group meeting.

Holiday gift-giving ideas were met with a silent auction that included fabulous home and gift ideas including 30,000 American Airlines miles, a two-night stay for two at The USA Grant, a luxury hotel in San Diego, California, a one-night stay in a King Suite at The Highland-Dallas with complimentary valet and complimentary room service for two, a one-night stay at The Warwick Melrose Dallas, tennis lessons for 1-2 people by Harlan Tennis, and a signed Dragon Lady, 3 1/2 inch crystal Aurora Borealis rhinestone with gold finish brooch covered in Swarovski stones.

Mary and Mike Waller*

Connie White and Kate Newman*

Al James, Don Gaiser and Wayne Medina*

Roneka Patterson and Nathalie Dadje*

In attendance at the Red Ribbon event were longtime Resource Center supporters and advocates James Lester, Jay Maggio, Chuck MarLett, Kate Newman, Jay Oppenheimer, Chris Parker, Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh, Mary and Matt Waller, Connie White and Kay Wilkinson. Several supporters who made the Red Ribbon a successful event included

  • Platinum Sponsors — Ethan Killgore, McDonald’s and Texas Instruments
  • Gold Sponsors — Dana Barber, Charles D. MarLett and Jay Oppenheimer
  • Silver Sponsors — Avita Pharmacy, Cece Cox, James Lester, Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh, Steven Pounders, MD and Jimmy O’Reilly and Mary and Matt Waller
  • In-Kind Sponsors — Bartech Services, Kurt S. Adler, Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh, Lion Ribbon, MarceloMedia, Mickey Briggs, The Original Cupcakery, Stoli and Sam S. Tucker

$10,000 was raised at the Red Ribbon event with all proceeds from the ornaments and silent auction benefiting the services and programs of Resource Center. World AIDS Day and the Center’s Red Ribbon event reminds us that HIV has not gone away; there is still a vital need to expand awareness, combat prejudice, and improve education. For more information about Resource Center, please visit myresourcecenter.org.

* Photos provided by Resource Center

Resource Center Grand Opening Attracted VIPs and Hundreds To Dallas’ Newest LGBT Community Center

While others primped and prepped with stylists for a nighttime affair du jour, about 500 stalwarts gathered just west of Inwood Road on Cedar Springs around noon on Saturday, May 21. The draw was the official opening of the newly built, 20,000-square-foot Resource Center complete with the Turtle Creek Chorale, music, dancing and, of course, a ribbon cutting.

Turtle Creek Chorale

Turtle Creek Chorale

Resource Center

Resource Center

Thank heaven for I.M. Pei-trained architect James Langford’s design, as the V-shaped second floor overhang provided shade and comfort those waiting in line for tours of the new facility. The premature summer heat and humidity made the surroundings seem like Houston.

Pooch

Pooch

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Chad Collom, Steve Kemble and Don Gaiser

Chad Collom, Steve Kemble and Don Gaiser

While the adorable Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and pooches may have been the head turners, the real in-the-know types spotted Center CEO CeCe Cox, Veletta Lill, Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson, Sarah Losinger, Clay Jenkins, David Brown, Laura Martin, Katherine Wynne, Steve Kemble, Chad Collom, Don Gaiser, Pam Gerber, Suzanne Slonim, Elba Garcia and Joe Pacetti.

Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson

Ros Dawson Thompson and Rex Thompson

Laura Martin and Suzanne Slonim

Laura Martin and Suzanne Slonim

Sarah Losinger, Janier Bush, Veletta Lill and Katherine Wynne

Sarah Losinger, Janier Bush, Veletta Lill and Katherine Wynne

While many may dismiss HIV/AIDs as a painful memory of the past, the Resource Center is a place with its services, gathering places and opportunities for those affected by HIV/AIDs. With more than 60,000 people using the Center and its more than 1,200 volunteers and 50 paid staffers, Dallas’ Resource Center is “one of the largest centers of its kind in the United States.”

MySweetWishList: Resource Center

According to Resource Center Marketing and Communication Coordinator Jennifer Williams,

“Resource Center provides needed nutritional support to people living with HIV/AIDS with food distributed through our Food Pantry and weekday hot meals program.  Weight loss and malnutrition continue to be common problems with HIV and can contribute to HIV disease progression. A healthy diet improves quality of life, and good nutrition helps the body process the many medications taken by people with HIV. Good nutrition helps keep the immune system strong, enabling a person living with HIV to better fight the disease.

Resource Center*

Resource Center*

“Our wish is that food continues to be medicine for our clients. Resource Center is requesting support of our HIV nutrition programs. During the holiday season we see a huge influx of clients that stock up on several weeks’ worth of groceries when normally they are allowed to shop once per week. After the holiday rush, inventory can become low and we will need to restock to continue to meet the high demand of activity.

“We have a need for the following items:

  1. “Canned vegetables such as green peas, all styles of tomatoes, sliced, diced and or whole potatoes, asparagus and red beans.
  2. “Canned meat such as chili, Spam, chicken, Spaghetti-o’s with meatballs, ravioli with meat and sardines.
  3. “Canned fruit such as, fruit cocktail, peaches, pears and or pineapples
  4. “Meal replacement drinks and shakes like Ensure

    Resource Center*

    Resource Center*

“In addition to perishable food items, a monetary gift makes an impact!

  • “$30 provides a daily hot meal for a person living with HIV for one month at Resource Center’s Hot Meals program.
  • “$60 provides vital groceries for a person living with HIV for an entire month from the Food Pantry at Resource Center.
  • “$90 provides an educational speaker and lunch for one HIV support group meeting.

“Donations can be made at www.myresourcecenter.org/give. For more information about Resource Center, visit www.myresourcecenter.org.”

-By Jennifer Williams, Resource Center marketing and communications coordinator

* Photos provided by Resource Center