Funds raised from this event will be given to SAGE RI, a non-profit group devoted to providing services and advocacy for the gay elderly community. The Bridge at Cherry Hill Sales Director Jen Burns said the event came about to show the assisted living communities in town are united in their respective missions to provide care and dignity for their residents.
“Bullying is a big deal in this community,” said Burns. “These are people who grew up not being accepted for who they are by their peers. Now, they are coming into these situations with the same types of people who were not tolerant of them before. It’s a tough situation after society has opened many doors for the gay community. Some of these people may start fearing they will have to hide who they truly are again.”
The fundraiser consists of a cocktail hour from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. followed by bowling from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. There are six teams of five-person teams from each of the town’s assisted living facilities. There are two other auxiliary teams consisting of five people.
All of the proceeds will be donated to SAGE-RI, a non-profit chapter of SAGE-USA, an organization dedicated to addressing issues related to aging in the Rhode Island lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In partnership with its constituents and allies, SAGE works to achieve a high quality of life for LGBT older adults, supporting and advocating for their safety, dignity and rights. SAGE-RI provides education, cultural competence training and technical assistance for service providers, and promotes positive images of LGBT life in later years.
Burns said local companies are encouraged to sponsor a team. For $100, companies can have their name and logo printed on the team T-shirts. She also seeks donations from local companies and individuals. A requested donation of $5 donation to cheer on the teams to attend.