Charleston, SC, August 19, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- What do horseback riding lessons, a picnic for two, and a jet ski adventure have in common? They are all part of a date package that will be auctioned for charity as part of a singles auction fundraiser to support gay youth.
The Chart in Park Circle will host its first ever bachelor/bachelorette singles auction to benefit We Are Family, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, straight ally, and Intersex (GLBTQQAI) youth. The event, which will be open to the public, will take place on Saturday, August 27 starting at 9:00 pm, and it will feature single guys and gals, along with their date packages. The $5 price of admission includes the auction and a show by “The House of Dayzee.” Additional date packages from local businesses will also be available for raffle. All proceeds will benefit We Are Family.
The auction contestant pool consists of local professionals, including doctors, lawyers, an artist, a writer, an engineer, and a psychologist. Among the date packages are 9 holes of golf at The Links at Stono Ferry, a spa day at A Center for Well-Being, and tickets to see Brandi Carlile in concert. Salon Utopia, Al Di La, Mama Q’s, Vickery’s, the Lowcountry Highrollers, and On-the-Fly Catering are just a few of the businesses that have donated items for auction and raffle.
Auction contender and Engineer at Cummins, Shokouh Shafiei, said that she is participating in the event to help make life a little better for GLBTQQAI youth. “We owe it to them to make sure they have it better than we did growing up,” she said.
Another contestant, Charleston attorney, Becca Epstein, echoed Shafiei’s sentiments. “There was a time in my life when I was struggling with who I was and where I fit in. Someone reached out to me and told me that things would be okay, and that there would always be a place for me. I am honored to be able to help disadvantaged youth in their journeys.”
A study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth who have access to resources like We Are Family and school gay-straight alliances are significantly less likely to become suicidal than those who do not.
“Coming of age as a gay teen in a small southern town at the age of 18, I only wish I had an outlet like We Are Family to assist me before and after my coming out,” said event organizer, Scott McDonald. “Having had the opportunity to attend a Safe Space meeting and meeting this group of remarkable young people, I have made it a personal mission to be an advocate for We Are Family."
Becky Wollenberg of The Chart, a gay-owned establishment, believes in giving back to the community. "Young people are our future leaders, and we need to invest in them," said Wollenberg. "We Are Family is an organization that does just that. We are passionate about the work they do and proud to assist in strengthening them in any way possible."
We Are Family hosts a support group for GLBTQQI and straight ally youth every Tuesday night from 7-8:30 p.m. in the environmentally green building behind Circular Congregational Church. For more information, visit www.waf.org.