NEW YORK – The Trevor Project, a leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, raised approximately $210,000 at its ninth annual East Coast fundraising gala, Trevor New York. The gala occurred June 29.
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black was honored with the Trevor Hero Award and CNN received the Trevor Commitment Award. Both awards recognize a company or individual’s role as inspiration for LGBTQ youth. Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel presented Black’s award, and Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of HLN’s (sister network of CNN) “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell,” accepted CNN’s award from broadcaster Keith Boykin.
“The Trevor Project really is the organization that is closest to my heart; it always has been, so this means so much to me,” Black said as he accepted his award.
Black spoke articulately about his own struggles with suicidal feelings as he came to terms with his sexual orientation in Texas. He also addressed the importance of providing LGBTQ youth with hope for a brighter future.
“To all those kids that are afraid…you are not alone,” he said. “You have brothers and sisters, gay and straight, black and brown and white, thousands of us — and your struggle and your fight is our fight. And most importantly, life is worth living, and there is still hope for a better tomorrow.”
More than 415 guests attended the event at Capitale in New York City for an evening of comedy, musical performances and special honorees. The gala was hosted by comedienne Caroline Rhea and included special performances by Grammy Award nominee Jewel and Tony Award nominee Gavin Creel. Other celebrity guests included Lance Bass, Cheyenne Jackson, Mark Consuelos, Keith Boykin, Carson Kressley, Judy Gold and Meghan McCain.
“Each year at Trevor New York, we look forward to connecting with our East Coast community of supporters and the opportunity to raise vital funds to fuel our lifesaving programs,” said The Trevor Project Chief Executive Officer Charles Robbins. “Especially in today’s economic climate, we are grateful for the support of each and every guest who attended the event and whose contribution will help us ensure that all young people have a safe place to turn in times of crisis.”
All funds raised at Trevor New York directly benefit The Trevor Project’s programs. The programs include The Trevor Helpline, the only nationwide, around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth; The Trevor Lifeguard School Workshop Program and the Trevor Survival Kit for educators and youth service providers; “Dear Trevor,” an online, non-time-sensitive question-and-answer resource; and TrevorSpace.org, a social networking community for LGBTQ youth and their friends.
The event was co-chaired by Trevor Project board members Brian Dorsey and Joel Flatow.
The Trevor Project was founded in 1998 by three filmmakers whose film Trevor, a comedy-drama about a gay teenager who attempts suicide, received the 1994 Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action).