By John Wright
The inaugural event drew 40 people and raised $900, according to Hamby.
This year, organizers moved the Red Dinner to the UH campus, and brought in keynote speaker Brian Sims, the well-known, openly gay state representative from Pennsylvania.
Their efforts paid off, with Saturday’s Red Dinner II drawing 255 people and raising $41,795 for the four-year-old Alumni Association.
“It was incredible,” said Hamby, who chaired the event. “It was amazing how many people stood up and said, ‘I want to be part of this.'”
In addition to numerous administrators and faculty members from UH, Red Dinner attendees included Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Texas state Senator Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston, city council members Mike Laster and Robert Gallegos, and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan.
The Alumni Association will use proceeds from the Red Dinner to provide emergency assistance to LGBTQ students at UH who’ve been cut off by their families, and to establish a scholarship fund.
“We look forward to doubling our capacity in 2018 and doubling our revenue,” Hamby said.
Photos by Dalton DeHart