Youth first

Dallas young professionals mix and mingle at record-breaking benefit for LGBTQ teens

Dallas YPs mix and mingle at record-breaking benefit for LGBTQ teens

John McFerrin and Angela Enright
John McFerrin and Angela Enright. Photo by Shana Anderson
Ahmed Jallad, Julie Caldwell and Le Tuong
Ahmed Jallad, Julie Caldwell, and Le Tuong. Photo by Shana Anderson
Jessica Ramos and Daenna Martinez
Jessica Ramos and Daenna Martinez. Photo by Shana Anderson
Lacey Brutschy and Michael Buss
Lacey Brutschy and Michael Buss. Photo by Shana Anderson
Pio Del Castillo, Jesse Vallejo, Jeff Blythe, Tina Bowers, Tom Burt, Jason Thompson
Pio Del Castillo, Jesse Vallejo, Jeff Blythe, Tina Bowers, Tom Burt, and Jason Thompson. Photo by Shana Anderson
Karmen & William Palasota
Karmen Palasota and William Palasota. Photo by Shana Anderson
Rick Wilson, Rebecca Taylor and Edgar Negron
Rick Wilson, Rebecca Taylor, and Edgar Negron. Photo by Shana Anderson
 Jason and Brittanie Oleniczak
Jason Oleniczak and Brittanie Oleniczak. Photo by Shana Anderson
Casey Haws and Clayton Hollingsworth
Casey Haws and Clayton Hollingsworth. Photo by Shana Anderson
Resource Center Back to School Fundraiser
The event took place at Craighead Green Gallery. Photo by Shana Anderson
John McFerrin and Angela Enright
Ahmed Jallad, Julie Caldwell and Le Tuong
Jessica Ramos and Daenna Martinez
Lacey Brutschy and Michael Buss
Pio Del Castillo, Jesse Vallejo, Jeff Blythe, Tina Bowers, Tom Burt, Jason Thompson
Karmen & William Palasota
Rick Wilson, Rebecca Taylor and Edgar Negron
 Jason and Brittanie Oleniczak
Casey Haws and Clayton Hollingsworth
Resource Center Back to School Fundraiser

What: Fifth annual Back-To-School Fundraiser benefiting Resource Center

Where: Craighead Green Gallery

The 411: More than 100 supporters of Resource Center’s Young Professionals Advisory Council mixed and mingled their way to a record-breaking night. 

This year's Back-to-School Fundraiser raised $40,500 (surpassing last year's total by more than $5,000) in support of LGBTQ youth in North Texas. The proceeds will benefit Resource Center’s Youth First program, the only local LGBTQ-focused youth program that tackles the challenges that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning teens in North Texas face with family members, peers, and classmates.

The group had a change of scenery this year, Craighead Green Gallery, which offered more room and a peek at the current exhibition featuring local artists — including Resource Center supporter Jay Maggio.

Guests noshed on bites by Salum (a longtime supporter of the organization) and sipped beer, hard seltzer, and cocktails courtesy of sponsors, including first-time participant Deep Ellum Vodka.

Event co-chairs Lacey Brutschy and Michael Buss welcomed the most guests in the event's history and expressed their thanks.

“Nowadays, most people think that when a young person comes out as gay, they’ll be celebrated at school or among their peers," Brutschy told the crowd. "In reality, that’s not the case. Those who are brave enough to come out as LGBTQ have a higher risk of suicide and depression than their straight peers.

"In 2019, 88 percent of Youth First participants reported a decrease in high-risk behaviors after one year in the program; 77 percent reported increased self-esteem; and 76 percent decreased social isolation. These three action items are the goal of Youth First, and we couldn’t help these kids achieve those goals without your support.”

YPAC is a giving circle for young professionals (age 45 and younger) who are passionate about supporting LGBTQ youngsters. Youth First provides support for LGBTQ teens age 12-18, including programs Queer Youth of Color Night, Gender Identity Night, and STAY, a suicide prevention program.

Who: John McFerrin, Angela Enright, Ahmed Jallad, Julie Caldwell, Le Tuong, Jessica Ramos, Daenna Martinez, Lacey Brutschy, Michael Buss, Pio Del Castillo, Jesse Vallejo, Jeff Blythe, Tina Bowers, Tom Burt, Jason Thompson, Karmen Palasota, William Palasota, Rick Wilson, Rebecca Taylor, Edgar Negron, Jason Oleniczak, Brittanie Oleniczak, Casey Haws, and Clayton Hollingsworth.