Golden Rainbow's Summer of Love, 2019

Golden Rainbow benefit at The Space, Feb. 3

Mark Shunock’s Monday’s Dark, a twice-monthly 90-minute variety show of entertainment and chat, features musical acts, athletes, celebrity chefs and other guests from the Strip and Hollywood.

The $20-a-ticket show at The Space has partnered with more than 100 local charities since 2013. Last month, at its sixth anniversary performance in The Pearl Theatre at The Palms, the show announced that it reached its $1 million dollar mark in donations. All of that money stayed in Las Vegas for local charities.

Among the more 22 charities that will benefit from Monday’s Dark 2020 is Golden Rainbow, a nonprofit organization that provides housing and direct financial assistance to persons living with HIV/AIDS, will be the benefitting agency for the Monday’s Dark Feb. 3 performance at The Space, 3460 Cavaretta Court. Tickets for the Feb. 3 show are $20; $50 for VIP seats. For more information, visit goldenrainbow.org.

Women’s Fest shows the love of chocolate

Vegas Women’s Fest and Lez Vegas in Motion will present For the Love of Chocolate Valentine’s Party on Feb. 15, 7 p.m. to midnight. Entry is $20, and event features live DJ, cocktails and chocolates. To RSVP email cinlv702@gmail.com.

Equality Nevada to expand programs

Equality Nevada, a nonprofit that launched in 2018 to serve LGBTQIA+ youth through various programs designed to support, protect and empower them is growing and expanding.

The organization that already partners with other nonprofit organizations, collaborates with politicians to draft legislation and hosts events and attends resource fairs is lining up its 2020 youth events, including Gay Straight Alliance meetings held at local libraries in partnership with GLSEN Southern Nevada and inclusion in the Pride festival.

It is working on a host home project for homeless youth that will place children in homes, not shelters. Also, it is starting a national organization, Athlete Equality, with the aim of raising funds for youths across America who can’t afford to play sports, At AthleteEquality. org, families fill out a grant application. For more information, visit www.EqualityNV.org

Bright Star helps homeless LGBTQ youth

Nearly a dozen LGBTQIA+ youths have been assisted by the Bright Star Foundation in the Las Vegas area in the last three months through the Bright Star organization, which serves homeless youth in crisis, including who’s families have kicked out of their homes by their families for being LGBTQIA+.

The nonprofit organization was founded by Claude Raffin and his late partner, Jon Gathercol in 2016. Gathercol grew up economically disadvantaged and eventually prospered in the real estate industry. He and Raffin knew that homelessness amid LGBTQIA+ young people is very high: 40 percent of the youth homeless population. And now, Raffin is working to establish a permanent legacy in honor of Gathercol, who recently died.

Since 2016, Bright Star has helped over 80 young people with housing, transportation and other assistance.

“We’ve paid deposits, or first months’ rent for housing, bought bus passes and assisted with food supplies,” said foundation President Claude Raffin. “Working with the Las Vegas LGBTQ Center, as well as other local organizations, we have been able to fill in the funding gaps that these organizations have been unable provide. Our goal is to assist other nonprofits, financially, to prevent homelessness in the LGBTQ community, in one case, we arranged air transportation for a trans youth who was accepted into a transitional LGBTQ housing program in Maryland.” For more information, visit BrightStarGives.org or email to President@ BrightStarGives.org.

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