According to Resource Center‘s Young Professionals Advisory Council (YPAC) members/ 5th Annual Back-To-School Fundraiser Co-Chairs Lacey Brutschy and Michael Buss,
We are excited to see YPAC to raise critical funds benefiting the Youth First program at the 5th Annual Back-To-School Fundraiser. Presented by Dallas Red Foundation with special thanks to American Airlines, the North Texas community is invited to join us for this event on Thursday, August 22, from 6-8 p.m. at Craighead Green Gallery. In addition to complimentary valet parking, guests will enjoy light bites and libations courtesy of Deep Ellum Vodka, Michelob Ultra and Zerbina Imports. Amazing works of art will be on display at the gallery and the chic venue is perfect for mixing and mingling.
We are both passionate and dedicated Center volunteers. This is Lacey’s second time co-chairing Back-To-School, and for the last seven years she has been volunteering at other HIV/AIDS non-profits as well as the Center. She is a second-year board member and absolutely loves her LGBTQ community and allies. Lacey says, “People think that just because a young person comes out as gay in 2019, they’ll be celebrated at schools or among their peers. In reality, that’s not the case. If you’re different, the world still sees that, and those who are brave enough to come out as LGBTQ have a higher risk of suicide and depression than their straight peers. In 2019, 88% of Youth First participants reported a decrease in high-risk behaviors after one year in the program; 77% reported increased or maintained high self-esteem; and 76% decreased or maintained low social isolation. These three action items are the goal of Youth First and we couldn’t help these kids achieve those goals without the community’s support.”
In addition to serving as a member of YPAC, Michael is a frequent volunteer who sits on the Center’s Toast To Life committee and actively promotes Center events and initiatives — “When I heard about the Center’s Youth First program and the services they provided, I knew I wanted to be involved. I’m proud to be a member of YPAC and I’m looking forward to working with them and supporting such an important resource for LGBTQ kids.”
Approximately 15,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth live in North Texas, yet there are minimal resources available for meeting their unique needs. Resource Center’s Youth First program is the only local LGBTQ-focused youth program that addresses the challenges they face with family members, peers and fellow students. Serving youth and young adults ages 12-18, Youth First equips them with the skills they need to lead an open life.
Resource Center created YPAC in 2013 to support the Center’s Youth First program. YPAC is a unique giving circle for young professionals (45 and under) who are passionate about providing opportunities for life skills, leadership development, peer support, and educational advancement to LGBTQ youth in the Dallas area.
Sponsors to date for the Back-To-School event include
- Presenting Sponsor: Dallas Red Foundation;
- Valedictorian with Honors: Aetna; AT&T, Dallasites 101 and Robert Hickman-Cruise Planners;
- Valedictorian: American Airlines, ASP Cares Pharmacy, Avita Pharmacy, Dana Barber, Lacey Brutschy, Michael Buss and RSA Family Wealth, Purple Foundation, Rick Thompson and Uptown Physicians Group;
- Varsity: Ben E. Keith Company; Cece Cox and Shelly Skeen; James A. Jones and Scott Kahle; Robert Kucharski; Michael Matthews and Michael Pugh; John David McFerrin; Deborah McMurray and Glen Davison; Ranil Ninala, MD; Jay Oppenheimer; Solender Hall; Texas Digestive Consultants; Solender/Hall, Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc.;
- Junior Varsity: Advanced Skin Fitness; Andy Church and Peyton Liu; James Lester; Dr. Mark Parker and Eric Johnson; Chad West; PLLC; Dallas IVF Fertility Services; Dallas Rainbow Counseling and Top Round;
- In-kind: Michelob Ultra; Craighead-Green Gallery; Deep Ellum Vodka; DJ ELLZ; Shana Anderson Photography and Zerbina Imports LLC.
The 5th Annual Back-To-School event benefiting Youth First will take place on Thursday, August 22, 6-8 p.m. at Craighead Green Gallery, 1011 Dragon St., Dallas, TX. Sponsorships begin at $250 and individual tickets sell for $50 each at myresourcecenter.org/backtoschool. For more information, contact Bill Scott, 214.540.4458.
* Graphic/photo provided by The Resource Center