Fundraiser helps gay center become a reality

Fundraiser helps gay center become a reality
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The hunt for a permanent home for Brooklyn’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community received a financial boost at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center’s second annual fundraiser in DUMBO on Tuesday night.

The Founder’s Ball at the Galapagos Art Space raised greenbacks for the organization, which is currently operating out of Borough Hall and other locations in Downtown.

“We have no program space, we’re borrowing from all over the place,” said Rachael Stern, the group’s events and program coordinator, who helped put together the cocktail benefit, which featured performances, an open bar and a silent auction with such cool prizes as a personal voice mail greeting recorded by former Mayor Ed Koch, a Hirschfeld lithograph, and trips to Los Angeles and Disney World.

Plenty of well-heeled supporters flocked to show their support and hobnob with interesting notables; among them, Comptroller John Liu, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D–Manhattan), and Borough President Markowitz and his Manhattan counterpart Scott Stringer, who opted to tie the knot with his fiancée (note the extra “e”) in Connecticut last year to protest New York’s discriminatory marriage laws.

“It was a friendly and wonderful evening,” stated Stern, who added that the final tally wasn’t yet in, but “we did well.”

Astronomical rents in the commercial corridor between Atlantic Terminal and the edge of Downtown, where the group ideally wants to settle down, have crimped its search for a location, despite receiving pledges for $1 million each from Markowitz and Quinn.

Brooklyn may be the most populous borough, but it lags woefully behind the others which already have established centers for gays, according to the group.

“All of us are familiar with Manhattan’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender center, we are trying to replicate that model right here in Brooklyn,” said its Communications Associate Caran Wakefield.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is tickled pink to show his support.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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