Lea DeLaria to Host Ali Forney Center’s ‘A Place at the Table’ Fundraiser

Lea DeLaria to Host Ali Forney Center’s ‘A Place at the Table’ Fundraiser

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Jenna Lyons, Orange Is The New Black actress Kimiko Glenn, Sam Champion, LGBT Advocate David Mixner, Nigel Barker Also Attending

Lea DeLaria/Photo: Denis Largeron
Lea DeLaria/Photo: Denis Largeron

On October 23, the Ali Forney Center (AFC) – the nation’s largest services and advocacy organization working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) runaway and homeless youth – will hold its annual A Place at the Table benefit dinner at Capitale.  This year’s event will celebrate the 13th anniversary of AFC’s work to protect and empower homeless LGBT youth, and to support them in becoming safe and independent as they move from adolescence to adulthood. This year’s event will be hosted by Lea DeLaria from the award winning Netflix series Orange is the New Black.

The 2015 honorees, chosen for their for their work in the LGBT community and their support and advocacy of homeless LGBT youth, include New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Member Andrew Hevesi, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, and AFC Alumnus Hilal Kahlil.

The evening’s Honorary Host Committee includes: DeLaria, Ann Hathaway, Adam Shulman, Anika Noni Rose, Dylan Lauren, Isis King, Mo Rocca, Sandra Bernhard, Ally Sheedy, Victor Garber, Kate Mulgrew, Alan Cumming, Padma Lakshmi, Thomas Roberts, and Billy Porter.

The evening will kick off with a cocktail reception including passed hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction, followed by a sit-down dinner with an awards show, live auction and entertainment. The night continues with a VIP after-party.

“A Place at the Table” will again be held at Capitale, NYC (130 Bowery New York, NY 10013), on October 23, 2015, beginning at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception followed by dinner and the awards presentation. Tickets are available through the Ali Forney Center, with individual tickets starting at $600. Call (212) 222-3427 and ask for Alex Roque for information about higher sponsorship levels.

About the Honorees

Hoylman represents New York’s 27th State Senate District, which covers much of the heart of Manhattan, including the neighborhoods of Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side, Midtown/East Midtown, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, the East Village and Lower East Side. He was first elected to the State Senate in November 2012 after having spent more than 20 years as a Democratic grassroots activist in the communities he represents.

Hevesi was first elected to serve the residents of the 28th district in the New York State Assembly on May 10, 2005. A lifelong resident of the area, Hevesi has been privileged to serve the constituents of Forest Hills, Rego Park, Ridgewood, Richmond Hill, Middle Village, Glendale, and Kew Gardens.

Rosenthal, Chair of the New York State Assembly Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, has established herself as a leading advocate on affordable housing, domestic violence, consumer protection, government reform, environmental issues and animal welfare and protection. She has been in office for more than nine years, and in that time has passed more than 50 laws that have helped to improve the lives of all New York State residents.

When Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams started their company 26 years ago in the town of Taylorsville, North Carolina, they were strong advocates of modern design. That love of modern continues today, as they work with their design team to create new Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams home furnishings collections each season for their growing chain of Signature Stores and fine independent retailers across the country. Often referred to as the Masters of Modern, they capture the comfortable side of modern that many can appreciate and few can duplicate. Their furniture is a favorite of both interior and set designers; it has appeared on many TV shows, including CBS’s The Good Wife, for which the company designed a collection.

In addition to making comfortable furnishings, the design duo has had a larger goal since the beginning: to make the world a more comfortable place – for everyone. They are known for their support of education, the environment, and equality. At their factory they created a family -friendly workplace that includes the first on-site education–based daycare center in the residential furniture industry. The company is a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, and Mitchell is on the Board. They’ve also been longtime advocates for LGBT equality. Mitchell founded Faith in America (FIA) to educate about the harm religion-based bigotry causes the LGBT community, especially vulnerable youth, and he is the author of Youth in Crisis: What Everyone Should Know About Growing Up Gay. FIA recently presented a short film called Not a Sin, featuring the Ali Forney Center.

Hilal Khalil
Hilal Khalil

Kahlil was cut off from his family in 2008 for being gay and became homeless. He struggled with addiction and depression and after living in his car Hilal became a resident of AFC. With the help and support of staff he was able to stay sober and study for the LSATs. Hilal is now in his 3rd year at the CUNY School of Law, where he is working on women’s and LGBT issues as part of the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic.

In the summer of 2014 he interned with IRAP in Lebanon, where he helped resettle refugees from Iraq and Syria. This past summer he interned at Lambda Legal where worked on the visa for a gay undocumented youth who was abandoned by his parents. In 2010 he founded the Arab Queer Collective (AQC) in New York to create affirming spaces for LGBTQ identified Arabs living in New York City. He also is on the board of TarabNYC and an active member of the Queer Muslim Book Club. He has not forgotten about his time at AFC and in March, on behalf of the Economic Justice Project, he shared is experience as a homeless youth at a public hearing at City Hall about the LINC program. On May 30th, Hilal married Mathieu and fundraised for the Homaidan-Desclaux Scholarship Fund for homeless or formerly homeless LGBTQ youth.

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