I am humbled by the outpouring of support and well wishes I have received from all of you as I end my tenure at Outfest. Outfest supporter and friend, Tod Carson, has made a generous Challenge Grant of $10,000 to help make sure the programs I helped to create continue on. Here is Tod’s story:
“When my friend Thomas Lavin invited me to brunch at his house several years ago, I had no idea what to expect. At that brunch I learned about all of the year-round work that Outfest does in our community, launching the careers of filmmakers at Outfest Los Angeles, mentoring emerging storytellers through Outfest Forward, spotlighting the diversity of the LGBT experience through Outfest Fusion, and protecting our rich history captured on film through the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project. I was struck by the valuable and irreplaceable services Outfest provides.
I met a wonderful group of people that day and was introduced to the remarkable Kirsten Schaffer, the Executive Director who helped create most of Outfest’s programs. Her energy, enthusiasm and passion for the organization motivated me to become involved with the Legacy Awards, an annual fundraising gala for the Legacy Project. It has been an incredibly important part of my life since then.I was sad to learn that Kirsten was leaving the organization, but after 14 years of long days, nights and weekends, we would all need to make a change. For all that she contributed to Outfest, I believed the least I could do was dig deep in my pockets and heart and make a contribution.
I am asking you, the friends and supporters of Outfest, to join me in showing Kirsten how much we appreciate all of her years of devotion. I will match up to $10,000 of the funds Outfest receives. Together we can make a difference to an organization that means so much to so many of us! All gifts will be acknowledged in a special card to Kirsten and on the Outfest website.”
So far we have raised $6,500 toward this grant. We only need to raise $3,500 more to secure all of Tod’s generous contribution. Please make a donation today and your gift will be doubled!
Wishing you all the best until our paths cross again – no doubt at an Outfest event or screening.