Group gears up for campaign

HICKORY, N.C. — OUTright Youth of Catawba Valley, in observance of National Bullying Awareness Month in October, will present the Teen Nation Tour Stand Up Speak Out concert event on Oct. 4, 2 p.m., at The Belk Centrum at Lenoir-Rhyne University, 627 7th Ave. NE.

Headliners are JRyan and Celeste Kellogg. Joining them will be Katie Belle Akin, Rebelmann, Simply Rayne and Collin Kozola.

The tour is comprised of young, emerging artists from around the country who perform music-fueled top 40, pop, rock and country hits. Their programs and concerts also feature sharing personal bullying experiences and talking about types of bullying and prevention options.

The Friends Against Bullying focus for this year’s observance will be directed toward Catawba Valley youth. In addition to a concert, the tour will also visit four in-school programs on Oct. 2-3 and an evening event at a local high school football game on Oct. 3.

Afterward, the tour will perform at the Sprint NASCAR races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The event is a partnership between OUTright Youth and Lenoir-Rhyne University Lineberger Center for Cultural and Educational Renewal. Business and organizational support is being sought as well.

Tickets are $10/at the door, $30/VIP

info: 828-320-1937.

Bingo helps to fill pantry

HICKORY, N.C. — Not Your Mama’s Bingo will present “The Wizard of Oz: It’s Not Your Mama’s Bingo Technicolor Triumph” on Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m., at Club La Rumba De Cache, 534 U.S. Hwy. 70 SW. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

This event is full of gaiety, glory and glamour and will raise funds for ALFA. It will also be a time to bring food items for ALFA’s food pantry that is seriously depleted. For those who do, Queenie will give away an autographed photo of Queenie Gabor.

According to Glinda, Good Witch of the East, aka Queenie Gabor, “we guarantee everyone a joyous and wondrous adventure with the funky Scarecrow, TinLady, Wicked Witch of Everywhere, the Lioness, and slutty Dorothy, to a place beyond every possible rainbow.”

According to the Southern AIDS Coalition and the PEW Charitable Trusts, the southern states now have the highest rates of new HIV diagnoses, the largest percentage of people living with the disease and the most people dying from the disease of any other geographic location. That is why events such as these are held to raise money for organizations like ALFA and to bring community awareness to the HIV/AIDS issue.

The original face of HIV/AIDS was that of a middle-class, often white gay man living in urban areas like New York and San Francisco. That picture has changed over time as people of color have become disproportionately affected by the epidemic.  Today, the face of HIV/AIDS is black or Latino, poor, often rural — and Southern.

The HIV infection rate among African-American and Latino women in the South now rivals that of sub-Saharan Africa. In some Southern states, black women account for more than 80 percent of new HIV diagnoses.

Tickets are $20, available in advance or at the door, and include admission, game sheets and daubers. Advance tickets can be found at the ALFA office, 1120 Fairgrove Church Rd. SE, Suite 28; La Rumba De Cache, 534 Hwy. 70 SE; Tasteful Beans, 29 2nd Street NW. A special 50/50 game sheet is an additional $5 and is the only game played for money. It is sponsored by MedExpress Pharmacy. All other game winners will receive prizes.

“For the first time in about two years, we have a sponsor for every one of the nine games,” said Thom Hutchens, volunteer coordinator for ALFA. “Ticket sales are also going better than experienced, with a good chance of selling out, like we used to,” he added.

In other news, ALFA will hold its Dining Out for Friends event on Sept. 24 at Bistro 127, D’Lishi, Dos Amigos, Gepetto’s, Groucho’s Deli, Hickory Tavern, Jason’s Deli, Maria’s, Ruby Tuesday, Salsarita’s and Texas Roadhouse. Proceed go to support the work of ALFA. Contact Annie Earle at or 828-322-1447, Ext. 223, to learn more.

info/tickets: 828-322-1447, ext. 222.

Dance upcoming

ASHEVILLE — The Dance Divas will hold a dance on Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m., at Eleven on Grove, 11 Grove St.

DJ Linda will spin and Shiner delights tastebuds with snacks. Filtered water will be available, as well as a cash bar.

Cost is $10 and for those who have been stamped by the bartender, admission to Scandals later on in the evening is included.

info: 828-253-6746.

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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

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.