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PFLAG's Autumn Soiree will raise funds for scholarships

Salisbury/ Rowan Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will host the chapter’s fifth annual 2012 Autumn Soirée, its major fundraiser to benefit the chapter’s scholarship foundation, sponsored by Food Lion, a subsidiary of Delhaize America and other businesses and individuals. The event will be Sept. 15, 6-10 p.m. at Looking Glass Artist Collective, 405 N. Lee St.
“The success of this event has allowed the chapter to award 19 $1,000 scholarships to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight ally students in Rowan County over the last six years, an impressive accomplishment for a local PFLAG chapter,” said Elizabeth Boltz, chair of the Scholarships Advisory Committee. “The success of this scholarship foundation is a testament to the support and generosity of donors, sponsors, businesses and individuals in our community who share the common mission and vision of PFLAG. Uniquely, Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG scholarships are available to all public, private and home-schooled Rowan County gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender high school seniors or their straight allies and may be awarded to students who want to attend a technical or trade school, community or junior college, rather than a traditional four-year college,” she added.
The Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG Scholarship Foundation began with the inaugural 2007 Autumn Soirée. The chapter awarded two $1,000 scholarships for academic year 2008-09. The Anne Stanback-Charlotte Kinlock Scholarship, named in honor of the Salisbury native and her wife, and the Founder’s Equality Scholarship, named in honor of chapter founder Michael Clawson. In 2009, a third scholarship, named in honor of Salisbury native Linda Ketner was awarded for academic year 2009-10; for academic year 2010-11, the chapter added a fourth scholarship, the Bob Page-Dale Frederiksen Scholarship, named in honor of Page, founder and CEO of Replacements LTD., and his life partner, Frederiksen. In 2013, four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded for academic year 2013-2014.
This year’s event will be a silent auction/raffle fundraiser, with food, beverage and entertainment. The evening will feature keynote speaker Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield, Charlotte’s first openly gay elected official. Mayfield, a Democrat, represents District 3 on the council. She was elected in 2011 and is serving her first term. She has received the Community Award from the North Carolina Black Pride Movement, the Diversity Outreach and Volunteer of the Year awards from the Human Rights Campaign, the Woman of Achievement Award from the YWCA and the Harvey B. Gantt Award from the Young Democrats. Mayfield has previously served on the board of governors and as national female diversity co-chair for the Human Rights Campaign
Mayfield also formerly chaired the youth and gang violence subcommittee of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee, is a steering committee volunteer with the Mecklenburg Political Action Committee, and is a community advocate with the Charlotte Community Justice Coalition. She is grants committee chair and a former board member of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund and serves as board co-chair of the Ujamaa Institute, which focuses on philanthropy in the African-American community. She has been a client casework supervisor of disaster services with the Carolina’s Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Entertainment will be provided by Willow Catherine, a singer/songwriter who lives in Salisbury.
Many local businesses, artists, members and friends have donated items for auction and raffle this year. Dress is casual and the cover charge is $20; $10 for students. Tickets may be purchased at Critter’s Cards and Gifts or Greyshores Trading Company in downtown Salisbury or Green Goat Gallery in downtown Spencer.

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