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Diana Foundation Promotes ‘Intergenerational Interest’ with HATCH

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The Diana Foundation, one of the oldest gay social and philanthropic organizations in the U.S., is celebrating its annual satire of the Academy Awards with its 2011 Gala, Absolutely Fabulous. Featuring a “roaring” silent auction, cocktails, dinner, and dancing, the event benefits HATCH, Gulf Coast Archives and Museum, and the Botts Collection.

Sally Huffer, community project specialist with Montrose Counseling Center, expressed HATCH’s excitement at being chosen as one of the event’s beneficiaries.

“We met with the president of the Dianas, John Heinzerling, along with [Dianas board member] Frank Staggs. They told us that the members of The Diana Foundation feel a special responsibility, as the oldest GLBT organization in the country, to reach out and help our up-and-comers.

“Their eyes expressed the sincerity of their awareness about the challenges our youth are facing, and they want to join us in our efforts to address anti-GLBT bullying and the dire situation of GLBT youth living on the streets,” Huffer added.

Huffer explained that HATCH and MCC are seeing an increase in  “intergenerational interest in the community, from the youth to the seniors and from the seniors to the youth.

“It is heartening, to say the least,” she said. “We let the Dianas know that after the ball is done, they can wear their gowns and tuxedos to the HATCH prom on June 10. I think they agree that it is so important for our youth to meet and get to know our local role models, like Frank Staggs, Michael Kemper, and John Heinzerling, to see that they can grow up and be well-adjusted, positive contributors to society.”

Huffer indicated that proceeds received from the event are designated to seed MCC and HATCH’s Anti-Bullying Symposium scheduled in October, along with the organization’s GLBT homeless youth street outreach program. March 12, 7 p.m. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar St. $175+. thediana foundation.org • 713/203-6767. —Nancy Ford

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