A group of the area’s most influential LGBT power players gather to raise money for scholars
By Michael Clements
The Point Foundation recently hosted 150 guests at their second annual DC Reception at the Equality Center at the Human Rights Campaign. The inspirational event raised money that will go toward supporting future scholars, which includes not only direct financial support but also mentoring and leadership training. The foundation endeavors to help students of merit who have been marginalized due to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression as they prepare for their futures. Partygoers enjoyed a testimonial from guest speaker Kerry Eleveld. Eleveld is an award-winning journalist and the current political editor and White House Correspondent of The Advocate. Eleveld used her time and lessons learned as sorority president as the basis for her humorous, yet, important message – that we each must follow our gifts, which for Eleveld is her persuasive nature and ability to communicate. Scholars Caeden Dempsey and Anna McCrerey spoke and gave moving testimonials as well. McCrerey was particularly moving as she spoke about being openly out and part of the State Department, where, just a few years ago, she might have had felt compelled to hide her sexual orientation. She also described about round-about professional path that has seen her move from activist to African medial field operations and back. One career being out, the other career being in the closet. Her testimony showed how pleased she is to have been able to combine her career with being honest about who she is. Dempsey is working towards a Ph.D at Johns Hopkins, and mentioned how much the scholarship support from Point will help achieve the goal of graduating. The event has raised over $51,000 (including $4,800 in in-kind support) for Point Foundation scholars.
In addition to scholar speakers Dempsey and McCrerey, Point Regional Trustee Glen Ackerman, Regent Brian Branton and Managing Development Director Michael Marino also addressed the crowd. Guest who made a donation of $500 or more at the event were entered into a drawing for incentive prizes that included hotel stays at Kimpton, DC Dupont Hotel, The Ritz Carlton and roundtrip airfare on jetBlue.
Out in Force: Glen Ackerman, Mario Acosta-Velez, Ebone Bell, Michael Clements, Michael Coe, Tim Ford, Derek Friday, James Gargas, Celina Gerbic, Vivek Hatti, Doug Hoelscher , Bradley Reichard, Ernesto Santalia, Leslie Schafer, Aimee Schimmel, Mike Shuptar, Gerry Stanton, Justin Silver, Ron Tiesler, Ken White and Ryan Zynger.
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