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Ali Forney Center Fundraiser for LGBT Youth After Hurricane Sandy’s Devastation

Tuesday Nov 6, 2012
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New York, NY -The Ali Forney Center (AFC) - the nation’s largest services and advocacy organization working on behalf of runaway and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth - had its drop-in center destroyed by the Hudson River storm surge following Hurricane Sandy.

The center served as the entry point for a number of AFC services, including medical care, HIV testing, mental health services, housing referrals, and more. In order to raise money for the AFC in this time of crisis, Industry Bar, located at 355 West 52nd Street in Manhattan, will host a fundraising event from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, 2012.

The event’s hosts will include actress Ally Sheedy and celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz. The event is co-chaired by AFC board member and New York City Council candidate Corey Johnson, and AFC volunteer and OASIS co-chair Michael Green

Tickets are available for purchase at the door for $20, and 100 percent of the event proceeds from ticket sales, bar service and raffle items will go to the AFC.

A matching donation of up to $50,000 will be generously made on behalf of AFC Board Member Bill Shea and his husband, Frank Selvaggi. Said Shea and Selvaggi: "Sandy upended the lives of many New Yorkers, but not nearly as much as the youth of the Ali Forney Center, who now have nowhere to turn for basic services such as shelter and food. We are proud to help our community come together in support of its most vulnerable youth."

The evening will include entertainment provided by DJ Vito Fun, and cabaret shows from Marti Gould Cummings, Joseph Keckler and Brett Gleason. Raffle items for the event will be announced that evening.

The event’s hosts will include actress Ally Sheedy and celebrity photographer Mike Ruiz.

Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of AFC, said: "I am enormously grateful for the immense outpouring of support we have seen for the AFC over the past several days - not just here in New York, but from all over the country. Our youth, who in many cases have been cruelly rejected by their own families for being LGBTQ, need our help now more than ever, and we hope that this event will allow the day when we can restore these vital services to come sooner rather than later."

The AFC Drop-In Center was a 1,000 square foot space located on West 22st Street, providing a safe space to at-risk and homeless LGBTQ teens and young adults. The Center was a primary point of care for food, shelter, and water - providing as many as 10,000 meals a year -and also served as AFC’s Health and Mental Health Clinic, offering critical medical care (including counseling, treatment, healthcare management, psychological care, and STD/HIV testing). The Center also offered career and educational counseling services for young people, helping them to reclaim their lives and live independently.

While the AFC plans to open the first-ever 24-hour drop-in center for homeless LGBTQ youth in an alternate location, it will not be open for several months. In the meantime, New York’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center has generously offered AFC some of their space to provide temporary Drop-In Services.

The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June of 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. The Center is committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together.

AFC is dedicated to promoting awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth in the United States with the goal of generating responses on local and national levels from government funders, foundations, and the LGBT community.

To learn more about AFC, or to make a contribution, please visit www.aliforneycenter.org/hurricanesandy

For more information, go to: www.aliforneycenter.org

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