Blog: The Ali Forney Center's Summer Oasis Benefit
It’s been estimated that nearly 4,000 youths, with just under half of them being members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender community (LGBT), wander New York City streets each night without sufficient housing. Seeking to enable these displaced youths with the tools necessary to get their lives back on track and grant their independence is The Ali Forney Center, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 that provides housing, medical care, and meals, among a bevy of other services to these homeless teens. Thursday night, the Center would host a fundraising event at the posh Bowery Hotel dubbed “The Third Annual Summer Oasis” (sponsored by Barclays) bringing light to the organization’s noteworthy cause and helping to fund their upcoming projects in perpetuity.
With a full open bar sponsored by Chopin Vodka and Barefoot Wines, passed around hors d’oeuvres, and a sea of silent auction items, the Bowery Hotel rooftop area was transformed into a summery private event space- an urban oasis, if you will. A parade of shirtless male model types with accompanying dolled up women, paced the event space enticing attendees to purchase raffle tickets for the evening’s primary giveaway – a trip for two to Brazil, and posed for pictures with anxious eventgoers. While the evening served as a celebratory party, the cause at hand was its drawing card.
The special guests for The Oasis included actress Parker Posey acting as the event’s emcee and a special performance from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” season four runner-up Chad Michaels- the two of whom spent the majority of the evening chit-chatting with different guests, posing for pictures, and simply enjoying the company of the generously contributing philanthropists in the house. But Posey recognized the immense problem facing the LGBT youth in our city and felt it imperative to utilize her celebrity and involve herself in the Center’s cause.
Celebrating its tenth year, The Ali Forney Center is in a crucial position for providing advocacy services and shelters at sites throughout Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. And during 2012, any donations the organization receives will be matched dollar for dollar in the hope of opening the very first 24-hour drop in center in the United States for these homeless LGBT youths. With all of the funds raised Thursday night, 100% of the proceeds are being used to support the Center’s existence and expansion. But recognizing the issue and helping to spread the word of the importance of their growing cause is the first step in working toward a solution. You can find out more about the great work being done at The Ali Forney Center and for details on how you can donate directly, check out the non-profit organization’s website here.
- Jane Van Arsdale