The Ali Forney Center will honor the late Bea Arthur and her support of the organization’s mission to protect homeless LGBT youth
New York City’s annual star-studded gala benefiting homeless LGBTQ young people will take place on Friday October 21, 2016 at Capitale. Acclaimed comedian and actress Sandra Bernhard will host, and the evening will a feature a special tribute to Bea Arthur by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Last year’s A Place at the Table dinner and auction raised upwards of $600,000 for the services that the Ali Forney Center provides to homeless LGBTQ youths in New York City.
This year the gala will honor the memory of Arthur, who during her life was a great champion of LGBT rights and supporter of the Ali Forney Center’s mission. The actress, who died in 2009, included a $300,000 donation to the Ali Forney Center in her will. Construction of the Bea Arthur Residence, an 18-bed shelter for homeless LGBT youths run by AFC, is nearing the final stages of completion.
Arthur gave one of her final public performances as a benefit for the Ali Forney Center in 2005. She was very upset to learn that hundreds of thousands of LGBT teens were rejected by their families, and driven to homelessness. She said that she would do anything in her power to help these teens. When she died in 2009, the Ali Forney Center learned that she had bequeathed $300,000 to them in her will. At that time, Carl Siciliano, the Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, pledged that the first building they owned would be named in her memory.
Siciliano said, “It meant the world to me that a star of the magnitude of Bea Arthur would do so much to help the Ali Forney Center in our work of housing homeless LGBT youths. I am very grateful that we will now be able to honor Bea and continue to keep her compassion alive through the establishment of the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth.”
Tickets to A Place at the Table are on sale now.