LGBT NETWORK – Hamptons Center
44 Union St., Sag Harbor, NY
Robert Vitelli, CEO
LGBT NETWORK HOSTING SOLD-OUT MAY 27 EVENT
Hundreds attending to Support Anti-Bullying Efforts
Local Businesses Sign-on for Pride Month Partnerships
*****PROCEEDS TO BE DONATED TO THE NETWORK’S EAST END GAY-STRAIGHT ALLIANCE (GSA) OUTREACH PROJECT*****
SAG HARBOR, NY (May 23, 2023) – The LGBT Network’s annual Hamptons Summer Kick-Off event is sold-out for the first time ever. Hundreds will be attending the event on Saturday, May 27, 2023 at the Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
This annual LGBT season-starter is attracting hundreds of supporters, as well as the support of local businesses, as the organization works to counter anti-LGBT extremism in local Hamptons and East End schools and communities as a local organization, while it celebrates its 30th anniversary of serving the LGBT community. The LGBT Network operates four LGBT centers throughout Long Island and Queens, including its Hamptons Center in Sag Harbor that hosts weekly youth programs and seasonal community events.
“Whether the anti-LGBT extremism is happening locally or across the country, LGBT youth see it and hear it, and it affects their mental health, both in the short-term and long-term,” says LGBT Network CEO Robert Vitelli. “Bullying of LGBT youth is on the rise, and these youth need safe spaces like the LGBT Network to have the freedom to be who they are, express themselves, and know they are okay to be themselves free from bullying and harassment.”
Proceeds from the event support the LGBT Network’s East End Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) after-school club Outreach Project to stop the bullying of LGBT youth and create safe spaces in schools. The LGBT Network visits after-school GSA clubs to deliver education and leadership programs to help LGBT youth and their allies stop and stand-up to bullying and create safer schools. This includes programs to empower youth to organize “days of action” that helps transform school communities in support of LGBT youth. “The skills we’re teaching our youth to counter bullying today are the skills they are going to use as an adult tomorrow to continue the advocacy needed to ensure the equality, equity, and social justice for the LGBT community – and that’s what our event sponsors and donors are doing – creating a tomorrow where our youth will be safe and healthy LGBT adults,” says Vitelli.
To bolster this effort, the event will launch four partnerships with local businesses for a Pride Month “shop-for-a-cause” effort. The Campaign entitled “Local Is As Local Shops” highlights participating businesses as supporters of LGBT Network. Headlining the effort is premium men’s retailer Todd Snyder East Hampton who will host an in-store shopping event on 6/3; Sag Harbor-based Kidd Squidd creating a specialty “Pride Pils” pilsner beer can adorned with a progress rainbow flag and LGBT Network logo; Sag Harbor-based Wave Wellness as a lesbian-owned spa; and Sag Harbor-based Sylvester & Co. Modern General. All throughout June, these participating stores will donate a percentage of their proceeds back to the LGBT Network as a local organization serving the Hamptons and East End communities. Each store has also donated to the event’s “shopping spree” portion of the auction representing thousands of dollars of value.
Vitelli says, “Our 2023 Summer Kick-Off has set records – contributing to the sell-out are more sponsors and more ticket purchases than any other year before, even more than our record-setting numbers from 2022. The new local partnerships emphasize the value this community feels about our local work. It’s a testament to the commitment and dedication of the local community to support a local organization like LGBT Network.”
The LGBT Network is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is a home and voice for the LGBT community, their families, and support systems in Long Island and Queens. The organization’s LGBT centers – the only ones of their kind in the region located in Sag Harbor, Hauppauge, Bay Shore, and Astoria/Queens – help LGBT people to be themselves, stay healthy, and change the world. Since 1993, the LGBT Network has been pioneering advocacy and social change to create safe spaces where LGBT people live, learn, work, play, and pray.
Saturday, May 27, 2023
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Bridgehampton Tennis & Surf Club
231 Mid Ocean Dr., Bridgehampton, NY