Aging in a rainbow world
CHARLOTTE — On April 28, join other seniors at the “Gay and Gray at the Crossroads: Navigating for Your Future” seminar to be held at the Levine Jewish Community Center, 5007 Providence Rd., from 6-8:30 p.m.

Registration and refreshments are from 6-6:30 p.m., with a speakers and an information resource fair following.

This event is targeted at LGBT seniors, partners and caregivers, friends and family. It is a confidential and non-judgmental environment where discussion on important topics can be addressed.

Hear from local speakers, as well as the Rainbow Center in Atlanta, on planning for aging in today’s changing world. Other presentations and resource tables will be available to answer questions about what you can do as you stand at the crossroads of gay and gray. Local representatives from the Charlotte region will address legal issues, financial planning, housing and long-term care options, healthcare, end-of-life issues, caregiving and social and advocacy organizations.

Following a successful Gay and Gray event in 2005, the Charlotte region has seen little in the preparation for LGBT Baby Boomers. These seniors often face additional challenges as they age and plan for their future retirement and healthcare needs. Everyone wants to remain in their own community and be as independent and vital in their older years as possible.

RSVP is due by April 24. Admission is free.

On April 29, further your knowledge-base with “Gay and Gray: Creating a GLBT Friendly Environment” at the Center from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

This course awards four hours of ACH and Social Work CEUs. Morning refreshments, lunch and all handouts are included.

This workshop will help participants increase awareness and understanding of the unique needs of the LGBT senior. Participants will be able to identify concerns and barriers and outline strategies for creating an inclusive experience for LGBT elders in your facility or organization. Rebecca Stapel-Wax, director of The Rainbow Center in Atlanta and Linda Ellis, executive director with the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, will discuss ways to be sensitive to LGBT issues and foster understanding and respect of LGBT elders. Local resources and representatives will be available to answer questions about legal and financial issues, healthcare, housing and long-term care, care giving end-of-life issues, aging and more for organizations and facilities.

According to the Council on Aging, aging Baby Boomers are the largest generation in our country’s history; in the next 20 years, Mecklenburg County will experience a 260 percent growth in the adults over age 60 (That’s around 250,000 people above the age of 60); and Mecklenburg County’s older adult population is now increasing at a greater rate than that of the population of children.

The Council examined this demographic shift and identified emerging issues that are likely to impact the quality of life for aging adults in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. The ultimate goal is to create a senior-friendly community which allows aging adults to maintain independence, dignity and quality of life. Listen to industry experts as they lay out information on how to cope with these concerns.

No onsite registration is available. Register online at Cost is $10.

Sponsorship for both events is made possible by The Centralina Area Agency on Aging, Centralina Council of Governments and the American Association of Retired People (AARP), in cooperation with Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation and Crossroads Charlotte.

For more information, call Linda Miller at 800-508-5777 or email


Jones to join cruise
CAROLINA BEACH — Want to have a great time doing the “Y-M-C-A” while cruising on the Atlantic, USA? Well, jump on board as Out Impact brings in former original Village People Cowboy Randy Jones for an evening cruise on the Royal Winner Princes II on June 12 from 7-10 p.m.

Jones is a Multi-Platinum artist and American Music Award winner. Jones was a Pop icon from the days of disco. Not only was he successful in the recording industry, but he starred in the motion picture business in “Three Long Years,” “Facade,” “A Tale About Bootlegging” and “Can’t Stop the Music,” among others.

In his latest eclectic pop collection, “Ticket to the World,” Jones reveals yet another dimension of his ability which may surprise. With wide-ranging material by some of Pop music’s greatest songwriters, including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jim Steinman, Depeche Mode, Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys, Neil Diamond and a gem by the Bee Gees, he reinvents a set of pop standards in a smooth, sexy style.

Boarding time is 6:30 p.m. at 100 Carol Winner Ave.

Tickets are $50 and partial proceeds of every ticket benefits YouthAIDS. Out Impact will also be providing the first 100 guests who purchase tickets a special VIP gift bag. This is a limited engagement with only 300 tickets to be sold and this event will happen rain or shine. No refunds.

YouthAIDS, an education and prevention program of PSI, uses media, pop culture, music, theatre and sports to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products, services and care. For information on this important organization, visit

Tickets include the cruise which features the scenic view of the Cape Fear Intracoastal Waterway and historic Cape Fear River and a complimentary Carolina BBQ dinner with non-alcoholic beverages.

There will also be a cash bar on board with dance music after Jones appearance.

For tickets, sponsorship opportunities or more information, call Bambi Weavil, Out Impact CEO and publisher, at 910-538-0115 or 910-538-4309, email or visit or


Student group needs assistance
LUMBERTON — Safe Schools NC Advocacy Research Intern S. Austin Cavanaugh has announced that the non-profit is planning to conduct a web survey for LGBT youth in North Carolina during the month of April.

Target participants are those who are in middle or high school. Areas to be explored are experiences of harassment at school, parental relationships, social support, internal psychological resources and mental health and well-being.

Safe Schools NC is a statewide partnership of organizations and individuals dedicated to eliminating bullying, harassment and discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity in North Carolina schools.

For more information, email


Fundraiser in progress
HICKORY — ALFA’s Dining for Friends (DFF) Kick Off and Packet Pick Up event was held on April 2 at Market on Main. The proceeds of the Pr[EVENT] fundraiser will support the prevention of HIV/AIDS in ALFA’s eight-county service area (Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga and Wilkes). This event was free and open to the public.

ALFA is seeking individuals, couples, churches, businesses, schools, civic organizations, etc., to host a party.

DFF Party Hosts are eligible for awards, including Most Creative Theme, Most Attended Party and Most Funds Raised. Winners will be announced at the end of the Finale evening. All party hosts are automatically entered for the awards.

Each person hosting or attending a DFF dinner party will receive a complimentary ticket to the 2009 Dining for Friends Pr[EVENT] on June 19 from 8 p.m.-midnight at Market on Main. Guests at the Pr[EVENT] will enjoy entertainment from DJ Supafly, a variety of desserts, heavy hors d’oeuvres, one complimentary adult beverage, soft drinks and cash bars. Tickets will also be available at the door for $25.

During the DFF Pr[EVENT], attendees can enter a raffle for a fully-furnished dining room set, complete with buffet from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, lighting by Robert Abbey, Inc. and place settings and accessories from Belk. Tickets are just $20 per ticket or get three for $50. Enter for a chance to win other great raffles for just $5, including a four-day, 3-night stay at a beach house in Holden Beach, compliments of Jane Earnest and a Market Meals package, compliments of John Duke and Market on Main.

ALFA announced that Bob Williams and Stephen Heavner will serve as the DFF Honorary Co-Chairs for 2009. Williams is the co-owner of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and Heavner is the bookkeeper for the well-known furniture company. Both men and their company have been tremendous supporters of ALFA for many years.

Anyone may register to host a DFF party by calling the ALFA office at 828-322-1447, ext. 223.
For more information, email or visit

Film seeks participants
BROUGHTON — Deirdre Leary, a sophomore at Broughton High School, is working on a documentary with a group of other classmates for a film class which focuses on gay marriage and gay/lesbian parents and how they are viewed by society. They are searching for gay/lesbian couples who have adopted and/or ones who has done artificial insemination.

Leary reminds those who wish to participate in this endeavor that they will be on tape and will be asked personal questions.

The film staff is able to travel to do public or private meeting place location interviews. They have fairly flexible schedules.

Questions that the crew and interviewer will ask are:
• What were some of the challenges you faced throughout the adoption process?
• Why was the most difficult challenge faced?
• Were you viewed differently in society?
• How has this experience changed you?

Appointments need to be set up by April 13, with final filming completed on April 20.

For more information, email

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Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.