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ROSMY Springtime Gala this weekend celebrates local LGBTQ youth support group’s 25 years

GayRVA Staff | May 4, 2016

2016 is a landmark year for ROSMY as the organization marks its 25th anniversary with new leadership and a year of celebration of its current and former youth and supporters. In 1991, the year ROSMY was founded, the climate for LGBTQ+ inclusion looked very different.

ROSMY continues to be the only organization in Virginia that addresses the unique needs and the healthy social development of LGBTQ+ youth ages 11-20.  ROSMY provides weekly support groups, a leadership program, and a range of other activities for youth, including an annual Alternative Prom that more than 100 youth attend each year. In order to ensure that youth have a supportive environment across the community, ROSMY’s Institute for Equality has trained thousands of social workers, teachers, and mental health professionals throughout Central Virginia on how to better serve LGBTQ+ youth.

At a time when most major cities across America did not have an LGBTQ+ center for youth, 25 years on, ROSMY has locations in Richmond and Charlottesville serving hundreds of youth and their parents with support groups, a suicide prevention hotline, and training. Additionally, ROSMY provides training to a variety of organizations like schools, police departments, hospitals, and other youth centers.  In the last three years, ROSMY conducted 150 trainings attended by over 5,000 people.

ROSMY will publicly mark its silver anniversary at Springtime: 25 th Anniversary Celebration on May 7, 2016 at the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club where the 2016 Catalyst Award honorees will be honored. This year’s recipients—selected for their dedication to creating inclusive environments for LGBTQ+

Beth Panilaitis: 

Ms. Panilaitis formerly served as ROSMY’s Executive Director. During her five-and-a- half year tenure, Beth was a champion and spokesperson for LGBTQ+ youth and of LGBTQ+ rights.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church:

St. Stephen’s has long been a model of an inclusive faith community by opening its doors to individuals and families from all walks of life.

Altria Group, Inc.:

Altria has been a corporate leader in championing diversity and inclusion. Its LGBTQ+ affinity group, Mosaic, has taken a leadership role amongst other similar corporate groups in Richmond and nationally.

Springtime: 25 th Anniversary Celebration is generously sponsored by Altria, Capital One, Lewis Insurance Associates, Weinstein Properties, BB&T Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, Dominion, Carmax, and Wayne Gauthier of Joyner Fine Properties.

Tickets for Springtime are $125, with proceeds going to ROSMY’s programs that support LGBTQ+ youth. For more information and ticket sales, please visit www.rosmy.org or call 804-644- 4800.

The evening will include a cocktail reception, music by jazz quartet, As If, led by VCU saxophonist, Myrick Crampton, and a silent auction featuring a variety of items from vacation getaways to one-of- a-kind art created by local and regional artists.