Pridepalooza kickstarts festival

HICKORY, N.C. — The 2017 Pridepalooza festival will be held on Sept. 2, 4 p.m., at Club Cabaret, 101 N. Center St.

Special guest will be Sandra Valls. This comic, actor, singer and writer will bring her wit to the stage. She is known for her performances on Showtime’s “The Latin Divas at Comedy” and has been included in the 10 Funniest Lesbian Comics list.

Celebrate the day with stage entertainers, line dancing, food, vendors and more as attendees “show your love” for the community. Enjoy a bouncy house, Sonny’s egg rolls, gospel singing by Jeff Reeves, line dancing, photo booth, face painting and more. Mr. North Carolina Pride, Giovanni Dinomight Addams will perform, as well as Mr. and Miss Catawba Valley Pride and there will be a crowning of Pride Prince and Princess.

Keep the festivities going with an after party at Club Cabaret at 8 p.m. featuring a live show and dancing.


WNCAP names honorary chair

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) has announced that Attorney David Gantt was selected as the recipient of the Honorary Chair Award presented each year at the annual Raise Your Hand Auction and Gala slated for Sept. 23, 6 p.m., at the Asheville Event Centre, 291 Sweeten Creek Rd. The event is presented by O.Henry’s and Wicked Weed Brewing Company.

“Honoring David Gantt as a champion for social justice throughout our region is easy,” WNCAP Board President Mark Collins said. “David is the champion for the underdog, the voice of reason, and the giver of hope. From family man to PTA president to county commissioner and just about everything in between, you’ll find David’s leadership setting a shining example of what it means to build community.”

WNCAP Community Resource Coordinator Christopher Winebrenner stated, “Where some may turn a deaf ear to the problem of HIV infection in our community, David Gantt has made no qualms about publicly advocating for HIV prevention education, testing and medical case management care for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. He has supported WNCAP and the work we do for years and is a terrific example of an individual using their voice to confront stigma and ignorance.”

The event includes a silent auction with donations of local art, fine wines, antiques, get away vacations and jewelry. Money raised from this event will go directly to helping finance WNCAP services, including HIV prevention and education, harm reduction, and case management services to those living with the disease across the 18 counties of Western North Carolina. Tickets are $150 and are available for purchase online.


Health org nets grant

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Western NC Community Health Services was presented with a $10,000 grant by the Campaign for Southern Equality to support its leadership and innovation in LGBTQ health, including its Transgender Health Program and HIV/AIDS services.

The two organizations have joined together to form the new LGBTQ health initiative to improve access to primary healthcare and support services for LGBTQ people across the 18 counties of Western North Carolina, they shared. The partnership will also collaborate on developing resources and trainings to support other Southern community health centers in offering LGBTQ-friendly primary health care and support services.


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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.