10 Spring Charity Runs to Have on Your Radar

Valley Forge Revolutionary Run | Photo courtesy Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board

Valley Forge Revolutionary Run | Photo courtesy Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board

If you’re going to run, anyway, you might as well do it for charity, right? Right. Check out these races coming up in the next few months, from competitive 5Ks and eight-milers to everything in between.

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Philanthropy Friday: Human Rights Campaign

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which “envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are ensured equality and embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.”

Philadelphia Region Gala Dinner Co-Chairs Katherine Sprissler-Klein and Marvin Rocha.

Philadelphia Region Gala Dinner Co-Chairs Katherine Sprissler-Klein and Marvin Rocha.

Who are you? Katherine Sprissler-Klein, member of the HRC Board of Governors and co-chair of the 2015 HRC Greater Philadelphia Gala Dinner and Marvin Rocha, co-chair of the 2015 HRC Greater Philadelphia Dinner. For the last 18 years, HRC has hosted its annual gala to engage corporate partners and local individuals in the fight for LGBT equality. We volunteer our free time, along with our amazing committee to host our annual dinner.

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Philanthropy Friday: AccessMatters Works to Promote Sexual Health in Underserved Communities of Philadephia

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, AccessMatters, a local organization working to promote sexual and reproductive health for individuals, families and communities.


AccessMatters President and CEO Melissa Weiler Gerber and Jermel Wallace, senior manager of the organization’s LGBT Health Initiatives.

Who are you? Melissa Weiler Gerber, president and CEO of AccessMatters, and Jermel Wallace, senior manager of AccessMatters’ LGBT Health Initiatives. For more than 40 years, our organization has been working to successfully eliminate economic, social, cultural, and geographic barriers to care for more than 200,000 people annually in southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. Through research, training, delivery of evidenced-based programs, community engagement and advocacy, AccessMatters is leading the way in transforming access to sexual and reproductive health.

When was AccessMatters founded?  AccessMatters, formerly Family Planning Council, was founded in 1972. Our LGBT Health Initiatives, formerly known in the community as “SafeGuards,” began in 1989.

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PHILANTHROPY FRIDAY: Kevin Burns Talks ActionAIDS and the Opening of the West Annex Clinic

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Kevin Burns tells us about ActionAIDS‘ first HIV primary care clinic, which opened earlier this month, and other ways the local nonprofit is making sure no one in Philadelphia has to face AIDS alone.

Ken Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.

Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.

Who are you? I’m Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS.

When was ActionAIDS founded? In 1986, at a time when governmental and philanthropic support for HIV/AIDS services was nearly non-existent. A group of 84 committed volunteers came together in Philadelphia and formed a community of care for their partners, family and friends with AIDS. ActionAIDS was the result, with a mission statement that read simply: “ActionAIDS believes that no one should face AIDS alone.”

What’s ActionAIDS’s shining moment, to date?: The opening of our West Annex Clinic earlier this month. After many months of planning, we’re excited to have launched our first HIV primary care clinic, in partnership with the Family Practice and Counseling Network. This clinical service will be coordinated closely with our medical case management services, also provided at the West Annex and focused on our clients at high-risk to be lost to care. Our medical case management services are highly effective in retaining clients in care, and the West Annex Clinic will increase our ability to do that. The initial effect of case management services is particularly dramatic: Average viral load drops 76 percent during the first six months.

One-sentence mission statement? ActionAIDS is committed to creating an AIDS-free generation through a combination of proven strategies, including medical case management, HIV testing, prevention education, supportive housing, HIV treatment as prevention, and volunteer services.

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Salt-N-Pepa Performing at CHOP Fundraiser


Friends of CHOP is going ’80s hip-hop for its upcoming Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia benefit, Cheers for CHOP, with organizers tapping rap queens Salt-N-Pepa as headliner.

This performance is a rare treat for Salt-N-Pepa (aka Cheryl James and Sandra Denton) fans; they’ve only made a handful of public appearances together in the past several years. They opened for Public Enemy in 2012 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert Series in Brooklyn, and last fall they appeared in a Geico commercial singing their signature tune, “Push It.”

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Philanthropy Friday: Bread & Roses Community Fund

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week: Bread & Roses Community Fund, which provides grants and technical assistance to communities in the Philadelphia region that are taking collective action to bring about racial and economic justice. This includes a scholarship fund specifically for gay men pursuing higher education, the Jonathan Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men.

Photo by Simba Madziva

Photo by Simba Madziva

Who are you? My name is Casey Cook and I’m the executive director of Bread & Roses Community Fund. Before coming here, I was the executive director of Prevention Point Philadelphia.

When was Bread & Roses founded? In 1971 as The People’s Fund. Our first grants went to groups like the Women’s Liberation Center, Kensington People’s Press, and the Black Panther Party. In 1977, The People’s Fund became Bread & Roses Community Fund and received federal 501(c)3 status.

The organization’s shining moment, to date: A few years ago, we held a year-long visioning process to ask our community how Bread & Roses should serve local movements for change. More than 600 people participated in focus groups, interviews, and town halls, and the opinions they shared gave us a clear mandate: We need to raise more money and distribute more grants. The visioning process really affirmed the work we’ve been doing for decades; it also mapped an ambitious plan for the future. We’ve been following that plan and we’ve already been experiencing exciting growth.

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Philanthropy Friday: Therapy Center of Philadelphia

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Alison Gerig talks about Therapy Center of Philadelphia, a local organization that provides affordable psychotherapy on a sliding fee scale to working and low-income women and transgender communities in Philadelphia.

alisongerigWho are you? I am Alison Gerig, the executive director of Therapy Center of Philadelphia (TCP), formerly known as Women’s Therapy Center (WTC). Serving 350 clients a year, our services include individual, couples, family, and group psychotherapy as well as music therapy, yoga, and psychological testing. All our services are queer and transgender-affirming and we have queer and trans-identified therapists on staff. We have a unique, low-cost program for those struggling with trauma. All of our services are offered through a feminist lens, attending to how our multiple identities shape our lives and impact the therapeutic relationship. Our services are collaborative, focus on connection, a de-emphasis on diagnosis, and have no treatment limit. Our clients are able to change their lives – they get better and stay better. To make an appointment, simply call 215-567-1111, extension 12.

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PHOTOS: 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala Starring Out NFLer Wade Davis

Friday—after a heated game of dodgeball with local LGBT youth on Thursday—former NFL pro Wade Davis hit up Philadelphia FIGHT‘s 2014 FIGHT For Life Gala to serve as keynote speaker. Davis, who came out publicly in 2012, is an advocate, writer and public speaker who addresses issues ranging from gender and race to equal rights and HIV/AIDS prevention. He serves as Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization that works to end homophobia in professional sports.

Besides the star power, the gala was rife with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a live jazz ensemble, and a silent auction, with proceeds benefitting FIGHT‘s Jonathan Lax Treatment Center, Y-HEP (Youth Health Empowerment Project) initiative, and the John Bell Health Center.

Freedom G Photography’s Tara Lessard was there to capture the event on digital film. Check out some of her shots below.

PHOTOS: Gay Holiday Spirits Ran High at TOY

Charitable, in-the-holiday-spirit LGBTers braved the drizzle Saturday night to head to Old City for Delaware Valley Legacy Fund‘s annual holiday fundraiser, TOY. This was the first time the event was held at Fire & Ice, a club-y space on Market that hosts a handful of LGBT events throughout the year.

The new venue gave the event a little more attitude than years past when it was held at Reading Terminal Market. The space was dark, music—by DJ Carl Michaels—was pumping, and folks mingled in their holiday-inspired threads. In the doorway was a small mountain of unwrapped toys donated from each guest. Delaware Valley Legacy Fund Executive Director—and TOY organizer—Samantha Giusti tells me that, “because of the community’s support, DVLF was able to raise significant funds [from ticket sales and a silent auction] to support the LGBTQ community in the region. We don’t have the final number yet, but we collected over 350 toys to support children served by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and ActionAIDS.”

Freedom G Photography‘s Tara Lessard sent some photos from the evening. Check those out below.

Extra Reading: See photos from last year’s TOY here.

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