Equality gala slated

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Equality will hold their Second Annual South Carolina Gala on Oct. 4, 6 p.m., at the Columbia Marriott, 1200 Hampton St.

The “Equality: Mission Possible” event will honor selfless leaders, along with celebrating community achievements.

The posh gala recognizes the success of dedicated heroes, the organizers said. The “mission” is still operational and “neither villain nor opponent of equality can stop the momentum building across the Palmetto State, they added.

Awards will be presented during the festivities. They are: Linda Ketner, SCE Founders Award; Former Columbia Mayor Bob Coble, The Harriet Hancock Ally Leadership Award; S.C. Sen. Brad Hutto, SCE Legislative Award – S.C. Senate; S.C. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, SCE Legislative Award – S.C. House of Representatives; Steve Gamble and Terry Livingston, SCE Community Champion Award – Coastal Region; Investigator Dottie Cronise, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, SCE Community Champion Award – Midlands Region; Anne Kelly Tromsness, The Warehouse Theatre, SCE Community Champion Award – Upstate Region; and Police Chief Crystal Moore, Latta, S.C., SCE Profile in Courage Award.

Tickets are $85 and going quickly. Last year’s event sold out.

Tables can be reserved for $850 seating 10.

On Oct. 3, 5:30 p.m., TAKEOVER Grand Strand will head out to Rocks at Midlands’ Lounge at the Marriott.

Host hotel is the Columbia Marriott. Call 803-744-6903 to reserve a room.

info: scequality.org.

Parents’ group gives awards

AIKEN, S.C. — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Aiken presented their first scholarship awards on Aug. 28 at Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church.

Recipients were Emily Smith and Michael Coleman.

The Aiken Standard reported that the “scholarship program was started by PFLAG Aiken and the Welcoming Congregation at the Aiken Unitarian Universalist Church to recognize students who have demonstrated the PFLAG values of education, support and advocacy through excellence in their educational achievements and leadership activities.”

Smith was a member of Alliance, the GSA at Midland Valley High School and attends Columbia College.

Coleman was in the NJROTC and has participated in community theatre. He has plans to attend the University of South Carolina – Aiken.

info: pglagaiken.org.

Conference focuses on faith

PENDLETON, N.C. — The Emergence Retreat will be held Nov. 7-9 at the Outdoor Lab, 415 Charlie White Trail. The event began as the dream of a few and became a reality when Peace Congregational Church, UCC, in Clemson, S.C., received a grant from Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ in Ohio.

The event seeks to provide an environment where LGBT young adults can come together with their families and supportive faith communities for the purpose of promoting love, acceptance and understanding.

Reconciliation of faith and sexual orientation and/or gender identity is something that many LGBT young adults struggle with, and often some choose to hide they are or abandon their faith.

A complete schedule is available on the event website.

Contributions, sponsors and volunteers are welcome. See details online to learn more.

Registration is available online and is due by Oct. 1.

info: emergenceretreat.com. clemson.edu/outdoorlab.

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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 specialassignments@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com. 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 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.