'A welcoming, safe place'

LGBTQ Center of the Warwick Valley holds ribbon cutting at Community Center


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  • Photo by Roger Gavan From left, Sherry Bukovcan, president of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Executive Director Michael Johndrow, Karen Thomas, Executive Director of the Warwick Valley Community Center, Jennifer Marsh-Colby with sons Jake, 3 and Anthony, 12; Ann Sinisi holding Mya Joy Barbara, LGBTQ Center President Danielle Barbour, Barbara Draimin, Theresa Sparks, Chamber First Vice President Mechelle Casciotta and Mayor Michael Newhard.



By Roger Gavan
WARWICK — On Wednesday, Aug. 13, Mayor Michael Newhard, Warwick Valley Community Center Executive Director Karen Thomas and members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors joined members of the LGBTQ Center of the Warwick Valley and their families for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

As stated on the organization's Website, "Founded February of 2013, we are here to provide a welcoming, safe space - an inclusive home that celebrates, nurtures, and empowers the LGBTQ communities and our friends and neighbors in the Warwick Valley. The LGBTQ Center of the Warwick Valley seeks to build unity among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, and Allied people of Warwick and the surrounding areas. It is welcoming of all."

Safe Space Initiative
The LGBTQ Center is part of the Warwick Valley Community Center and located in the historic Doc Fry Building at 11 Hamilton Ave.

The multipurpose Warwick Valley Community Center includes a pre-school program, community enrichment classes and after school programs for children and teens. It is also a popular meeting place for non-profit community groups throughout the region.

In addition to providing a safe environment, the LGBTQ Center's accomplishments include its Safe Space Initiative, which asks local government buildings and businesses to put up safe space stickers showing they will not tolerate bullying of the LGBTQ people who come into their buildings.

The organization also reports that Orange County's first Pride Event brought more than 5,000 visitors to the Village of Warwick, and next year's Pride committee is forming at this time.

Essential information
For additional information or the dates of upcoming LGBTQ events call 217-0738 or visit www.gaywarwick.com.

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