News release from The Leather Masked Ball:
$20,000 in proceeds from The Leather Masked Ball ® V were distributed to two community non-profit organizations at a Volunteer Appreciate Party at Mojo Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale, on 12/15/10
$10,000 will fund YGMFree, a pioneering program at Fort Lauderdale’s Pride Center (GLCC) which is modeled on their widely recognized programs to prevent the spread of HIV. This new program is intended to prevent the spread of crystal meth addiction among young gay men.
According to Jorge Gardella, Pride Center’s Health Outreach Director: “The goal of YGMFree (Youth Gay Meth Free) is to reach young men who are indulging in “meth”/substance abuse and help them find alternatives and particular referrals for their addiction. The program advocates self-esteem and self-empowerment through internet marketing campaigns, social networks, cyber chat rooms, support groups, a dedicated webpage, one-on-one HIV counseling & testing and “meth”/substance abuse peer support. This level of support is necessary for GBTQ young men to make informed decisions that promote positive behavioral change, to help set them free from addiction”.
Paul Hyman, Pride Center’s Executive Director added: “A $10,000 grant award provides a critical level of initial funding needed to begin to make a real difference in people’s lives. At this level, a part-time staff position can be created to focus its efforts on the target population. With solid management and oversight, the funded role will make a measurable contribution”.
$10,000 will fund a wide ranging media digitization project at the Leather Archive & Museum in Chicago to preserve documentary video of events that would otherwise deteriorate over time. The Leather Masked Ball® has always supported LA&M’s work preserving the history and culture of the Leather Community.
Rick Storer, Executive Director of LA&M points out "Lambda Men's Brotherhood and their Leather Masked Ball are grassroots fund-raising at the core. The grant provided to the Leather Archives & Museum comes from people in the leather community raising money for causes important to them."
These contributions bring to $90,000 the charitable contributions distributed by The Leather Masked Ball ® which takes place every year the day after Thanksgiving. Previous recipients have included Tuesday’s Angels, Care Resource, Stonewall Library and Equality Florida.
The Ball is a project of Leather Men’s Brotherhood, and entirely volunteer organization recognized as a 501-c-3 charitable organization by the IRS and licensed to conduct fundraising activity in the state of Florida.