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"A Better Holiday" to Benefit LGBT Homeless Youth and Ali Forney Center

Wednesday Dec 5, 2012
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NEW YORK - The It Gets Better Project, created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach, has announced its 2012 A Better Holiday concert.

This year’s concert, to be held December 16 from 7-10PM at XL Nightclub in partnership with The Group Entertainment, will raise funds for the Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation’s largest organization working on behalf of runaway and homeless LGBTQ youth; the AFC had a vital drop-in center destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in late October.

The night will kick off with a cocktail party, sponsored by Chopin Vodka, from 7 PM to 8 PM, where photographer Victor Haim’s art will be showcased and sold. Fifty percent of the proceeds from art sales from the night will go to the AFC, on top of all proceeds from ticket sales. The first hour will also feature a silent auction with items including Armani products; Armani will also be contributing the gift bags for the event.

The AFC operated a drop-in center on West 22nd St. in Chelsea, providing crucial services that included mental health treatment, HIV testing, medical care, housing referrals, job assistance, and more. That facility was destroyed during Hurricane Sandy in late October.


While the AFC plans to open the first-ever 24-hour drop-in center for homeless LGBTQ youth in an alternate location in Harlem, it will not be fully operational 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 drop-in center is currently operating out of Room 212 in the Center, at its former weekday hours.

Said Stephanie Laffin, board member of The It Gets Better Project: "We were saddened to hear about the fate of AFC’s day center, which has been such a crucial lifeline for our city’s LGBTQ homeless youth. With A Better Holiday we hope that we can further raise awareness about the plight of these youth, and work to not only restore what Sandy destroyed, but to get homeless LGBTQ young people off the street and provide them with the resources they need."

Said Carl Siciliano, Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center: "I am enormously grateful to It Gets Better for their generosity. It is my hope that this concert will help us not only continue our recovery from Sandy, but also further our goal of combating LGBTQ youth homelessness, one of the most terrible manifestations of homophobia in our time. For no youth should be denied access to shelter, family support, or food simply for being who he or she is."

The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach - if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better.

ItGetsBetter.org is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future. It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members. It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge and watch videos of love and support.

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.

DETAILS:

Sunday, December 16

XL Nightclub
512 W 42nd St.

Cocktail Party/Art Sale: 7-8 PM
Concert: 8-10 PM

Acclaimed comedy duo The Haus of Mimosa will host.

A Better Holiday will also feature numerous notable performers from Broadway, film, and television, including:

● Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Newsies)
● Santino Fontana (Cinderella)
● Monica Raymund (Chicago Fire)
● Andy Mientus (Smash)
● Max Von Essen (Evita)
● Ali Stroker (The Glee Project)
● Randy Harrison (Queer as Folk)
● Christina DeCicco (Evita)
● Donna Vivino (Wicked)
● Declan Bennett (American Idiot)
● Ryann Redmond, Ariana DeBose, and Gregory Haney (Bring It On: The Musical)

RSVP: Tickets are available at: http://www.showclix.com/event/abetterholiday

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

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