The ninth annual Fresh Brunch welcomed 1,225 guests to the Arizona Biltmore on Feb. 11. to celebrate one∙n∙ten’s 25 years of serving LGBTQ youth through a variety of support services and programs. With humble beginnings in a garage, the nonprofit has now grown to serve youth ages 11 – 24 across the Valley and with satellites across the state.
The organization celebrated its past successes and honored the just retired executive director, Linda Elliott, with the Babe Caylor Individual Award for the significant advances she made in supporting youth and education, and creating housing and mentoring programs.
The event also announced Nate Rhoton as new executive director. Central Phoenix resident Rhoton plans to become even more innovative and collaborative with one∙n∙ten’s programs and services, to build an even broader reach into the community.
Fry’s Food & Drug Stores received the Corporate Leadership Award and Robinson Maynes was honored with the Nora Gustavsson Volunteer Spirit Award.
Honorary co-chairs Billie Jo Herberger and Oscar De la salas and event co-chairs Donna Rose and Rick McCartney welcomed the hundreds of supporters to the event that serves as the organization’s largest single source of funding. This year’s record-setting brunch raised nearly half a million dollars to keep programs like Q High and Camp OUTdoors! going and growing. With special help from auctioneer Letitia Frye, this was the most successful event in the organization’s history.
One∙n∙ten was founded to provide a safe space for every young LGBTQ individual as they come out to their families or face bullying and other challenges in society. The Youth Education & Success Workforce Development, or YES! Program, has served 136 individuals over the last four years with an 84 percent job placement. Despite advances, the organization is currently facing a wait list of 94 young people who are seeking a place to sleep at night and avoid the challenges of the street.
PHOTOS BY RANDY AND SOPHIA OF RSVP PHOTOGRAPHY