Former gay marine Eric Alva, first soldier wounded in Iraq War
The popular event FAB returns Nov. 14 in the newly opened Lancaster County Convention Center & Marriott Penn Square.
Formally named the Fall Achievement Benefit, the returning event is co-chaired this year by Patti Bucek and Don Blyler III. The evening is a celebration of the region’s lgbt community and is a key source of funding for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Community Center Coalition of Central PA.
Headline speaker is former gay Marine Eric Alva, the first soldier wounded in the Iraq War and active right now in the congressional DADT debate. Alva will speak mainly about the strong roles played by lgbt people in society. “Alva’s remarks are meant to empower those in the audience and let everyone know that they can make a very positive difference,” says coalition president Ted Martin.
“The Center Coalition is a volunteer-led effort to create a regionally representative community center that is both a location and a unifying point for central Pennsylvania’s large, diverse and multi-county lgbt population,” says Martin. The coalition’s mission is to create common ground for the lgbt community and allies in central Pennsylvania by providing services through spiritual, education and cultural activities that foster wholeness.
With the recent “merging” of two organizations – The LGBT Community Center Coalition of Central PA and youth group Common Roads – the FAB committee has also “merged” the youth organization’s summer “Tropicanza” fund-raising venue with FAB.
All Ticket Levels
This year’s event offers various levels of ticket prices in order to allow for the broadest cross-section of the community to participate and thereby support the community center. A FAB VIP Reception will be hosted from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., a Classic Reception from 6-7 p.m. The Main Event begins at 7 p.m. evolving at 10 p.m into After-FAB, with music by east coast sensation DJ Freez. VIP tickets are $150, Classic Tickets are $75, and Dance Only Tickets are $20. All tickets include complimentary drink stubs.
“One of the most important elements we wanted to bring to the table was a truly diverse evening.” Says co-chair Patti Bucek. “The entertainment, speakers, silent auction, dance, and especially the three-tiered ticket pricing allows something for everyone”. A ticket purchased at any level offers individuals the chance to support the community center.”
The evening starts at 5:30-6:30 p.m.=2 0with a “See & Be Seen” VIP Reception featuring Lancaster native and international jazz vocalist CoCo & Company. Enjoy delectable hors d’oeuvres and an exclusive “sneak peek” at the silent auction.
The Classic Reception, 6-7 p.m., is available to all VIP & Classic Ticket holders and features tasty hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, and a silent auction with something for everyone. Nationally acclaimed flutists Matthew Allison and Adrian Baule will provide the “classic” entertainment in keeping with evening’s high caliber. The Common Roads’ Art Exhibit “Coming Out, 15 Artists/15 Years of Common Roads,” will also be on display and available for purchase through the silent auction.
Photographer on Site
To keep the memories of the night forever treasured, Tony Gibble Photography will be on-hand to perfectly capture the nights’ special moments. Photographs will be available at a special price, with a portion of the proceeds going to the LGBT Community Center Coalition.
The Main Event/Dinner is 7-10 p.m. and opens with the Marriott’s unbelievable catering menu. At press time, the Mistress of Ceremonies was still being confirmed but promises to be another highlight of the evening. The MC will lead the evenings’ program of accolades and award presentations. Even though the event is back after a short hiatus, “This isn’t your everyday stuffy old traditional event,” says co-chair Blyler. “If the crowd leaves the event with increased pride in the concept of an LGBT Community Center here as well as a sense of amazement from the event atmosphere, that’s terrific!! But at the end of the day, this event is about establishing a stronger, more unified community – through a dedicated and supportive community CENTER. When that happens, the committee has done their job right”. The special presentation planned is a lively concept to keep the audience engaged and excited.
After the special presentation Eric Alva, gay and the first American soldier wounded in Iraq, will address the crowd. In keeping with tradition, FAB Co-Chairs will present the Fall Achievement Award at the close of the main event.
The night isn’t over yet. To close out the evening, renowned east coast sensation DJ Freez will spin his dance mixes.
For more information on an evening that promises to sell out, or to purchase your tickets now, visit: http://www.centralpalgbtcenter.org or call20717.920.9534.