Assisting Survivors in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

Statewide agencies are assisting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) hurricane survivors with housing, food, and more.

Over a month after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, Texas organizations continue to help displaced gays and lesbians and their families, providing day-to-day necessities, medical essentials, and in some cases, new homes.

Among other statewide hurricane relief efforts, AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) Arms, Inc., producer of LifeWalk, is doing its part to help New Orleans residents recently evacuated to the Dallas area.

Austinites who would like to lend a hand or donate to the victims of Katrina can log onto KatrinaHelpAustin.org, the brainchild of local t.v. producer Nick Papatonis, producer of Austin Gay TV on local access in Texas. Papatonis sprung into action the day the hurricane slammed into New Orleans and as of Sept. 13th his volunteers had found homes for 780 people, clothes for 1,200, and bikes for 300.

In Mississippi, Camp Sister Spirit is asking for coffee, postage, thank you cards, kids and baby clothes, a trash compactor, potty chairs, clocks, mildew killer, and little tables for cabins, clocks for their center, a plumber, carpenters, an electrician, a drywall hanger, roofers, and just about anything else to do with re-building. For more information, email sisterspir@aol.com.

The Titas Dancers, a not-for-profit organization established in 1982, will hold a “Hurricane Katrina Ballet to Ballroom Benefit Concert and Silent Auction “Oct. 5th at 7 p.m. at Southern Methodist University’s McFarlin Auditorium in Dallas, TX. It will benefit the Mayor’s Relief Disaster Fund of The Dallas Foundation and will feature artists of the New York City Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Michele Gifford of Texas Ballet Theater, Raza Begg, and Ia Iashvilli.

Peter Martin’s “Barber Violin Concerto Pas de Deux,” Daryl Sneeds “And Now Marvin,” George Balanchine’s “Chaconne 2nd Pas de Deux” International Latin Ballroom Extravaganza, and Balanchine’s “Who Cares?” will make up the program.

The performance will be from 7-8:30 p.m. and silent auction and reception with artists will follow from 8:30-10 p.m.

The event is produced by Artists of New York City Ballet, Dallas Black Theatre, Chamberlain Ballet, Dance Council, Heritage Galleries and Auctioneers, I Dance 2 Ballroom Dance Studio, Sarah R. Nesbit, Southern Methodist University, Stage Crews Unlimited, The Richardson Hotel, Texas Ballet Theatre, and TITAS.

Box office and silent auction proceeds will go to the Mayor’s Relief Fund.

Performers, technical, and box office staff are volunteering their services.

Ticket prices are from $15-$100 and will be available on a first-come, first served basis. They may be purchased by calling TITAS at 214-528-5576 or 800-462-7980. You may also order online at titas.org.

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