GUILFORD GREEN FOUNDATION GALA
The Guilford Green Foundation Gala and Green Party took place this past weekend, and event organizers say that a diverse crowd of more than 400 people gathered to support the group’s fundraising efforts.The GGF is a leader in the advancement of equality for the LGBTQ community, and the annual gala event raises money to be distributed via grants that support transformative philanthropy. The organization got its start in 1995 as an effort to address the AIDS epidemic and to raise money to support the Triad Health Project.GGF Executive Director Brenna Ragghianti said that this year’s gala was “a complete sellout.””We exceeded our expectations for attendance and the final auction that is part of the gala,” she said. “It was probably the most diverse crowd we’ve ever had at the gala.”One of the focal points this year was addressing the epidemic of homeless youth. GGF is partnering with Youth Focus to fund beds for youth in need and to start a dialogue among community leaders to create training for foster parents and others to bring about a solution, Ragghianti said.The gala was themed as a wedding reception, but Ragghianti said it turned into the real thing when April Parker and Nikki Mintz were married at the event. Parker, who is with the Queer People of Color Collective, received the GGF’s leadership award for helping organize and bridge relationships across the Greensboro area.”The spirit of it was definitely celebration,” Ragghianti said. “So often we forget to celebrate our achievements and only focus on the problems.”Ragghianti was thankful for all the event sponsors, and said Quaintance Weaver did a wonderful job of transforming the Proximity Hotel “into something that seemed like it was from another world.””You weren’t sure if you were awake or walking into a dream because it was so beautiful,” Ragghianti said.Other award recipients included: Attorney Ron Johnson (Visionary award), Jeff Thigpen (Service Award), Kay Hagan (Dawn Chaney Award).More pics here from Triad Photobooth Rental.