Youth Pride, Inc.'s (YPI) 25th Anniversary Gala was one of the organization's most successful and entertaining events to date. This event is traditionally YPI’s largest fundraiser of the year, and was held at Skyline at Waterplace on October 10, with all proceeds going directly to the programs and services we offer. It is largely due to the generosity of our sponsors and guests that we are able to provide on a weekly basis: three drop-in evenings, four support groups, Wednesday Night Dinner, individual counseling free of charge with our two clinicians, HIV testing, and access to our Basic Needs Pantry, which provides food, clothing, toiletries, and school supplies. With great excitement, we are proud to announce that the 2019 gala raised over twenty-five thousand dollars for our organization.
We are grateful to everyone who attended the gala and celebrated 25 years of helping LGBTQ youth to live their truth. Special thanks goes out to our sponsors: Amgen (premier sponsor), Hasbro, Inc. (platinum sponsor), Ageless Innovation, AIDS Project RI, Amica, Barbara Margolis and Colleen Gregory, Bay Business Machines, Beacon Mutual, Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI, Big Brothers Big Sisters RI, Bryant University, The City of Providence and Mayor Elorza's Office, Representative Deborah L. Ruggiero, DeLuca & Weizenbaum Ltd, Duffy & Sweeney Ltd, Fellini Pizzeria, GLAD, The Gordon School, The Hire, IGT, John and Linda Silveira, Lisa Carcieri, Matthew Holmes, Michele Paliotta, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Providence College's Feinstein Institute, RDW Group, RI Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, RI Pride, Seth PAC, and Thundermist Health Centers.
The night included wonderful entertainment by our amazing emcee Mario Hilario, Hasbro toy company’s band Toys 2 Men, and Billy Gilman’s surprise musical appearance.
Several awards were presented during the Gala and deserve special recognition. Our Founders Award for individuals who have a longstanding history of giving back to YPI was presented to Julia Barber and Julia Carr, our two dedicated volunteer Wednesday Night Dinner chefs. Barbara Margolis was presented with our Lipsky/ Whittaker Award for her profound impact on the youth we serve and the LGBT community at large. The Luis Pagan Award is presented to a youth participant who embodies the spirit of Luis Pagan, a former YPI youth who was dedicated to social justice and fulfilling the mission of YPI in the early years of the organization. This year's Luis Pagan Award was given to two previous YPI Youth board members: Ben Chaplin and Teeneka Cooke. Thank you all for the positive impact you have on YPI.
Lastly, thank you to the staff, interns, and board of directors who dedicated immense amounts of time planning and executing the Gala. It truly does take a village and we cannot wait until next year! We encourage Options readers to check out more of Jennifer Bonin’s beautiful photography from the night in the gallery on our Facebook page.
Tiffani Carcieri is a member of YPI Staff
Youth Pride, Inc. provides support, education, and advocacy for LGBTQQ young people ages 9-23. Our Drop-in Center is at 473 Westminster Street, Providence, RI. Visit www.youthprideri.org, email info@ youthprideri.org, or call (401) 421-5626 for more info.