Masquerade ball is part of The Center’s financial bounce-back

Last year was a tough one financially for The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada.

Reduced hours. Open staff positions left unfilled. And a general financial unease, caused by the center not receiving a grant that it had expected.

But things are looking up in 2018, and what better way to celebrate than to throw a party?

On Saturday, The Center will host the inaugural Queen Esther’s Ball in celebration of Purim, the Jewish festival, which this year runs from Feb. 28 to March 1. Proceeds from the event will go to The Center.

Executive Director Andre Wade said the nonprofit organization today is “doing well, through the response of the community. Once they learned that we were going through some financial troubles, they came out and donated and supported us. There were third- party fundraisers and a lot of individual donors.”

Particularly gratifying, Wade said, was that “probably 85 to 90 percent of donations we were receiving from individuals were from new folks who never donated to us. So that helped get us out of a tight squeeze.”

The Center, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary and fifth year in its current facility at 401 S. Maryland Parkway, offers programming aimed at “furthering the well-being, positive image and human rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, its allies and low- to moderate-income residents in Southern Nevada,” according to its mission statement.

The Center’s roster of offerings includes comprehensive sex education classes for teens, a program to help parents accept their LGBTQ children, name change and clothing swap programs for transgender people, free HIV and STD testing, and referrals to community assistance programs. Wade said all of The Center’s programs are available at no cost to the entire community.

The Center’s 2017’s financial challenges began in December 2016 when, the agency learned that it would not receive a grant it previously had received.

The grant was worth “a few hundred thousand dollars,” Wade said, and its loss affected programs for youth and transgender people and some operations.

“Every dollar counts, so once you take a significant hit like that, you have to do something to adjust,” Wade said.

So, around April, cuts were made, including in operating hours and not filling vacant staff positions.

When word of The Center’s financial challenges got out, the community came through in ways such as an online fundraising campaign, sponsorships and even clubs and businesses that were “doing events and fundraisers for us,” Wade said.

“It was very gratifying, and there were some corporate sponsors we either continued to engage or re-engage that helped us out as well,” Wade said.

The donations, along with the austerity measures, raised enough money to “get us through the year,” Wade said.

And for 2018? The Center once again has received funding from that grant, Wade said, “and we’re starting off 2018 really well.”

The Center’s operating budget totals about $1.5 million, Wade said, and fundraising continues through individual donations, sponsorships and such events as The Center’s Honorarium, its primary fundraiser, on Oct. 6, and this weekend’s Queen Esther’s Ball.

Meanwhile, The Center is expected to again become a spot for lunch following the closure last year of The Bronze Cafe.

“We’re going to get a new vendor in there,” Wade said. “We’d love to make an announcement by April.”

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Life
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like