Pep rally around corner

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Forward 4 Love Pep Rally will be held on Feb. 6, 5 p.m., at Grady Cole Center, 310 N. Kings Dr.

The event is being held in honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. Mecklenburg County Women’s Commission is serving as coordinators.

Commission member Melissa Siegel-Barrios shared, “Locally, a few years ago we began gathering community agencies together to promote the month. Starting last year, we began stepping up the efforts to promote Respect Week, a national week promoted to spreading healthy relationships. We also began hosting an annual event. Every year the event looks a little different. Last year we hosted a film screening.…This year’s event idea was crafted with the help of the youth group that we guide, Forward.”

Siegel-Barrios added, “Our goal is to get young people to start talking about healthy relationships and raise awareness about teen dating violence. Overall we wish to share the message that everyone deserves a healthy relationship.”

Giveaways, food, music, cheer squad from Rocky River High School, marching band, photo booth and research fair will fill the event’s festivities. Live performances from Zebra Fish, a youth band, will round out the program. Survivors will also share their stories and youth from Forward will provide information on how to become involved beyond the pep rally.

Also, a resource fair provides information to young people about community resources. Many community organizations, such as Safe Alliance, the YMCA, Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN), Mecklenburg County Health Department, Legal Services of Southern Piedmont and the office Mecklenburg County Community Support Services Women’s Commission all plan to have resource tables.

Time Out Youth Center is planning on taking a contingency to the pep rally. An Urban Institute study in 2013 found that 43 percent of LGBT youth reported being victims of physical dating violence, a higher rate than the 29 percent of heterosexual youth who reported similar incidents.


Pride hits the lanes

SALISBURY, N.C. — Set up the pins! Salisbury Pride is hosting a bowling fundraiser on Jan. 31 at Woodleaf Lanes, 1811 Jake Alexander Blvd.

Regular bowling runs from 8:15-10:45 p.m. and cosmic bowling spans from 11 p.m.-1 a.m.

Tickets are available in advance online for regular bowling for $20. Cosmic bowling slots can be purchased in advance online or at the door. Cost is $20/non-student and $15/student with college ID.

In other news, the 3rd Annual Wine & Beer Tasting Fundraiser will be held on Feb. 7, 7 p.m., at Salisbury Wine Shop, 106 South Main St.

Attendees will be able to enjoy a silent auction, along with wine and beer.

Tickets are available online or at the door and are $20.


League develops civics course

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The League of Women Voters of Charlotte-Mecklenburg (LWVC-M) has announced that its Civics 101 course for 2015 will start on Feb. 3. The course is designed to give Charlotte-Mecklenburg County residents an introduction on the function of different government organizations.

Enrollment is on a first-come first-served basis. Since the class is always full to capacity and limited to sixty participants, expedient registration is encouraged.  A $50 non-refundable registration fee is required to hold a place in class and is available online.

The five classes are: Feb. 3, Mecklenburg County courts; Feb. 10, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools; Feb. 17, Mecklenburg County government; Feb. 23, City government; and March 3, graduation and meet the press.


Affinity group meets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Out on the Town affinity group from Blumenthal Performing Arts Center will host a pre-show party before seeing “Phantom of the Opera” on Feb. 5, 6 p.m., at Chima Blue Restaurant and Bar, 206 N. College St.

An RSVP is required by email to

For those who are not members, simply send an email to with name, email address and address.

Go online or call the box office to check on available for tickets for the performance at 7:30 p.m. in the Belk Theatre, 130 N. Tryon St.

info: 704-372-1000.

Kickball league welcomes players

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Co-ed LGBT and ally Stonewall Kickball Charlotte begins its spring season on March 8 and is seeking players who want to join its league.

“Our first season was a great success. We were able to bring a diverse group of people together not only for on-field activities, but as well as for social events, all the while, raising money for Time Out Youth!” said Jason Boone, league founder and commissioner. “We are adding more events this year for our kickball family, and our community to participate in. You can look forward to events such as: flip cup tournaments, a drag show fundraiser, a family field day and, in addition, Charlotte will be hosting the North Carolina Stonewall Kickball All Star Championship.”

This year Stonewall will be comprised of two leagues with six teams each. Returning players’ registration will begin on Feb. 5 and new players on Feb. 9. Participants must be 21 and over. Registration closes on Feb. 16. Registration can be accessed through the group’s website. More details will be shared on the league’s Facebook page as they become available. Cost is $30 which includes a league T-shirt.

A free-agent social will take place on Feb. 15, 3 p.m., at The Bar at 316, 316 Rensselaer Ave.

On March 7, 10 a.m., a clinic and open practice will take place at Veteran’s Park, 2136 Central Ave., with a season opening party that evening at The Bar at 316 at 7 p.m.

Regular season games begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays with Sunday Funday events following all games at The Bar at 316. Championship games will be held on May 17.


Guild sets year’s goals

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  The Charlotte Business Guild held its board of director’s second annual planning retreat on Jan. 11 at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation.

Among the discussions were: creation of a membership program for Employee Resources Groups (ERG) and Business Resource Groups (BRG) to allow a broader network of professionals within the community; development of a task force charged with providing education to corporations, midsize and small businesses on trans specific needs within the workplace; redevelopment of the website to become more resource based and supply-chain driven to assist in driving traffic to our membership; implementation of a non-profit management/administration training and certification series that will provide continuing education credits through proper accreditation while providing a much needed training for those who manage the community-based non-profits; and more.

It also shared the names of its 2015 officers and board of directors. They are: Chad Sevearance, president; Natasha Tutt, vice president; Lee Ziglar, secretary; Charles Oldham, treasurer; Frank Kalian and Barry Brodsky, programs and events committee; Barbara Green, programs and events chair; Ann Gonzales and Jen Carbuto, communications and marketing co-chairs; Lisa Hund and Caroline Bauer, development co-chairs; Kendolyn Wright and James R. Rice, III, membership co-chairs; Zachary Tate, corporate relations committee; Maureen Carlomagno, development committee; and Teresa L. Davis, ex officio, immediate past president.


Condoms on ‘runway’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Planned Parenthood South Atlantic will hold its first annual Condom Couture benefit on Feb. 21, 8 p.m., at The Chop Shop, 399 E. 35th St.

This unique runway fashion show showcases local designers’ creations utilizing condoms to create fashionable, wearable art, promote safe sex and benefit Planned Parenthood.

The party includes cocktails, live music by Miami Dice, performers, DJs, dancing, fashion and models.

Emcee will be NoLimit Larry.

RSVPs for advanced seating for $25 are being taken up to Feb. 15. Cost was not available at press time for non-advance tickets.

Additionally, individual and corporate sponsors are being sought at levels ranging from $125-$1,500. Visit the website for more details.


‘Heart’ mounted at theatre

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Theatre Charlotte, Eloise MacDonald Playhouse, 501 Queens Rd., will raise the curtain on “The Normal Heart” from March 20-April 4.

The award-winning production shares the story of the early days of the AIDS crisis and the sexual politics of New York. Written 25 years ago by Larry Kramer, its message is still powerful in today’s world. The play was made into a film and aired on HBO in 2014.

Different Roads Home is the presenting sponsor.

Tickets are $27 and can be purchased online.


MeckPAC elects new board

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The MeckPAC Steering Committee members elected Scott Bishop as its chair, continuing his service since first being appointed in 2011.

Joining him are Jamie Hildreth, vice chair; Larry Ferri, treasurer; and Crystal M. Richardson, secretary.

MeckPAC played a key role in working with then Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton to secure domestic partner benefits for the city’s LGBT employees and to add gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination policy. MeckPAC also worked with County Commissioner Kim Ratliff in 2013 to schedule a successful vote to add gender identity to the county’s non-discrimination policy.


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Share your news with us
Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

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.