The LGBT Center of Raleigh will hold its Annual Awards Gala on Oct. 6.

Center announces gala date

RALEIGH, N.C. — The LGBT Center of Raleigh will hold its Annual Awards Gala, “Strength Grows Here,” on Oct. 6, 7 p.m., at the Sheraton Hotel Downtown Raleigh, 421 S. Salisbury St.

The theme “is a reflection on how our community has been able to overcome each challenge that has been presented to us. … [the center] has been a lifeline for so many and we recognize that strength is not an option in these uncertain times,” organizers shared.

Awards will be given in the following categories: Distinguished Service, Rising Star, Organization of the Year, LGBTQ Ally of the Year, Program Volunteer of the Year and Center Volunteer of the Year. Recipient names will be available at a later date.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for live entertainment, a silent auction, seated dinner and extra surprises, organizers said.

Tickets are $125/individual until Sept. 14 and then jump to $150. Tables of 10 tickets are $1,000. Additionally, sponsor a special guest at $125. All are available online.

In other news, the center was notified that there might be an offer made on the property that houses the center. Although the situation has not been confirmed as yet, the center’s staff and board have been making plans and preparing for this for 18 months. The landlords have kept the rent low due to the potential sale and their commitment to supporting the center. The information was shared in a letter to the community.

Executive Director James Miller said, “I cannot stress this enough: without our landlords, we would never be able to afford a space in the rapidly developing Warehouse District of Downtown Raleigh.” He added, “…the City of Raleigh (our Mayor & many City/Wake Council Members) cherish what our Center does for the entire population. We are confident that this could be the greatest opportunity our Community Center has been given.”

If the sale does go through, the  center will have a year to find a new home and relocate, Miller added. Just moving the 5,000 volume library will be a large task. The community is being asked to keep the circumstances in mind for future assistance and thought.

Additionally, the center’s SAGE Raleigh group will hold its annual Labor Day cookout and potluck on Sept. 4, 1:30 p.m., at the center, 324 S. Harrington St.

Organizers will provide hamburgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers, as well as condiments and beverages. Attendees are asked to bring salads, sides, chips and desserts to share. Meal service begins at 2 p.m. with cleanup beginning at 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help re-seat the space.

RSVP to to secure a spot.


Latix pageant held

DURHAM, N.C. — The Miss Hispanidad 2017 Pageant will be held on Aug. 25, 7 p.m.,at the Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St.

The event, hosted by Hola Latino, is being held to support El Centro Hispano’s LGBTQ support groups.

Competition categories are: Creativity, Evening Wear and On-Stage Question.

Participants will present fashions they made out of recycled materials in the Creativity and Evening Wear sections. The On-Stage Question stage will include two queries, one on Latinx culture and one on HIV/STD prevention.

The winner will receive $500. Second place is $300 and 3rd place is $200.

Tickets are $10 at the door.


Church honors pastor’s memory

RALEIGH, N.C. — On July 23 St. John’s Metropolitan Community Church held a Celebration of Life for Rev. Carlton Dale Mutts Rutherford, LCSW, M.Div., who died on July 15.

A long-time survivor of HIV/AIDS (he was diagnosed in 1986), he also survived a battle with cancer and had been cancer-free since 2000. He attributed his ability to work against the challenges in his life to his faith.

Rutherford, a North Carolina native, began his sojourn with MCC in 1992 as a member of St. John’s. In 1997, he joined Rev. Wanda Floyd in helping to establish Imani MCC in Durham, N.C. and was led to become a member of the clergy and returned as a clergy candidate in 2006. The following year he became ordained and served as pastor for pastoral care until he suffered a stroke in 2017.

During his career, Rutherford spent time as a social worker at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Va., then as a foster care social worker with the Richmond, Va. Department of Social Services. Afterward he served in a similar capacity in Durham County’s Department of Social Services and as an outpatient therapist with Triumph, LCC, as well as a clinical social worker at the George Phillip’s Adult Sickle Cell Center at Duke University’s Medical Center. His primary focus in social work rested with children and families, HIV/AIDS, the LGBTQ community, people of color and the homeless.

Rutherford was also a third generation licensed funeral director by the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service. In addition to his career-related achievements, he also served his community with organizations such as the Durham AIDS Network, North Carolina AIDS Service Coalition, among others.


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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 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.