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Cover Story

The Center prepares for growth

Orlando's LGBT community center brings in new blood and broader attitudes to prepare for a presence beyond the 'gay' label

Photo: Photo by Carlos Amoedo, License: N/A

Photo by Carlos Amoedo

Randy Stephens

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In order to facilitate its growth and fiscal sustenance, the Center has rejuvenated its volunteer board with input from seasoned event planners, community leaders and tech-savvy new blood. According to Russell Walker, who joined the board two months ago and is now in charge of new board membership, the effect of the changes has been "massive."

"We actually have a full plan of attack here, not just some half-assed 'Let's just do this and see what happens,'" he says. "Because that's what's happened before."

That plan includes a proposed Kickstarter fundraising web page to address roofing problems; more social networking; and the Black and White Gala, an upscale fundraiser at The Abbey on Nov. 16. The goal: to raise the profile of a community service that's had many different profiles in the past, and to do so in a way that meets the needs of the times.

"It's not just a gay thing. We've gone beyond that," says Stephens. "We have one function and that's to serve the community."

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