We are excited to officially announce that PFLAG Spartanburg will once again host our Rainbow Ball fundraiser as we await our 501c3 status.
The fundraiser is our largest source of funding and an integral part of Uplift’s continued growth.
The Rainbow Ball is a masquerade gala that will create a space where donors can socialize and support a cause that is very important to Spartanburg and the entire Upstate.
The 2nd Annual Rainbow Ball is scheduled for Saturday, May 2nd at the 1881 Event Hall (formerly Summit Pointe). Jamarcus Gaston and the Synergy Twins will be returning as honorary emcee and primary entertainment. The event will also feature a DJ, cash bar and heavy hor d’oeuvres.
Last year’s Rainbow Ball raised over $13,000 and was essential in the launch and opening of the youth LGBTQ+ center September 2019. This year’s goal of $25,000 will provide future programming, snacks, beverages and rent to allow the center to continue and grow. Read more about the first Rainbow Ball here.
Tickets are on sale now at TicketLeap!
About Uplift Outreach Center
The Uplift Outreach Center is the first LGBTQ+ youth outreach center in the Upstate of South Carolina. Modeled after centers like the Harriet Hancock Center in Columbia and Time Out Youth in Charlotte, the center provides a much needed safe space for LGBTQ+ youth where they find support and relationships that enrich their lives. Since opening its doors four short months ago, the center has already begun to grow, with over 60 youth between the ages of 10 and 19 years old attending.
Programming at the center has included guidance on sexual health, self care, stress management skills and civic engagement. Several special events have been designed to bring the youth together and build a family-like environment. These included Friendsgiving, movie nights, a Halloween party, Painting with Pride-Proud Village, the Kindness Rock Project and others.
Here are a few thoughts from the youth at the Uplift Outreach Center:
“It’s a place where I feel like I don’t have to hide part of myself.”
“It’s an escape from all the hate and fear of everything outside that door. The Uplift Center is the definition of a safe place.”
“To me Uplift is a place I can go and not worry about whether or not I look a certain way or present a certain way. To me, Uplift is a place I can simply be, without fear.”
The center runs solely on donations and volunteers and is housed within the Fernwood Baptist Church at Hillcrest. The vision for the center is to eventually have its own facilities where it may provide space for additional services including mental health, STD and HIV testing, medical screenings and expanded programming for LGBTQ+ youth and adults.
About PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)
Founded in 1973 after the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization.
Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced, and serviced by PFLAG National, located in Washington, D.C., the National Board of Directors and 13 volunteer Regional Directors.
PFLAG Spartanburg has been serving our local community for twenty years. The organization recognizes the lack of LGBTQ+ specific resources in the Upstate of South Carolina. The organization’s goal is to create partnerships with other LGBTQ+ organizations throughout the Upstate to build an outreach center to connect LGBTQ+ individuals with the services they need and provide safe spaces for LGBTQ+ folks.
Don’t wait to buy your tickets. Last year we sold out! Buy your tickets here.
Interested in sponsoring this event? Download our sponsorship packet here.