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The Trevor Project at the Red Star Tavern

Hotel Monaco

Longtime LGBTQ rights supporter Kimpton Hotels recently teamed up with Foresters Financial to hold a silent auction and fundraising gala to raise awareness for The Trevor Project.

PDX People was proud to be there reporting on it, with exclusive comments from The Trevor Project’s Development Officer, Stephanie Mesones Alvarado.

Held inside the Red Star Tavern, itself part of the always-elegant and welcoming Hotel Monaco, The Trevor Project aimed to raise money for their main mission: Preventing suicide among at-risk LGBT youth.

Playing a Vital Role As the nation’s largest organization serving as a crisis and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people, The Trevor Project provides itself as – quite literally – a lifeline, by offering 24/7 counseling and other services to LGBTQ youth who may be at risk of self-harm or suicide.

Kimpton Hotels is The Trevor Project’s Premier National Hotel Partner, meaning it is involved on both the local and national levels.

Whether it be donating room nights, meeting space and catering, and hosting fundraisers across America to help fund the life-saving resources available through The Trevor Project, Kimpton Hotels has been at the forefront of this ongoing effort.

As Kimpton put it in their press release, “Supporting a safe and judgment-free place for young people to go is crucial. Kimpton is honored to be a part of an organization that dispels judgment and allows us to infuse our heartfelt care into our communities.”

And as The Trevor Project’s Miss Alvarado explains, this partnership has been crucial.

“They’ve produced fundraising events and provided hospitality to those who help forward our mission to end suicide among all LGBTQ youth,” she says.

“This is all part of a greater commitment that Kimpton has made to be a true champion of equality, with innovative, inclusive employee benefit plans as well as employee-led outreach to local LGBTQ communities,” she finishes.

As a new partner, Foresters Financial plans on joining The Trevor Project at events across the country, directly supporting the group through sponsorships with Trevor’s Education Training and classroom resource posters across the country.

Together with Foresters Financial, Kimpton Hotels donated rooms, food, drink and more for a night of fun for a good cause at their classy Red Star Tavern.

Mini polenta cakes
Mini polenta cakes

Food included delicious polenta cakes with a fine sear, fried tempura shrimp lightly dusted with powdered sugar and their new slider, unveiled specifically for this event.

Meat on the charcuterie board
Meat on the charcuterie board

Wine, beer, cocktails and charcuterie flowed aplenty as attendees browsed several deluxe Kimpton hotel room options offered across the country as prizes in the evening’s silent auction. With all winning bids going to benefit The Trevor Project, of course.

Wine by the glass
Wine by the glass

Through it all, Miss Alvarado reminded us why we were there.

“With their generosity and dedication to Trevor’s mission,” she says, “we have partnered to spread compassion, to build community, and ultimately, to save young lives together.”

Which is what The Trevor Project is all about: Saving young lives. But just how does The Trevor Project do that?

On a Mission Currently, The Trevor Project is the leading, indeed, the only national organization providing accredited suicide prevention and crisis intervention services to LGBTQ youth. They were founded in 1998 and today, serve over 200,000 youth each year across the breadth of their programs.

They do this by focusing on two types of services:

  1. Crisis intervention services for LGBTQ youth who are thinking of killing themselves right now. Those services include our 24/7 phone Lifeline, TrevorChat on the computer, and TrevorText for mobile use—services which are staffed by specially trained crisis counselors. They respond to nearly 190 calls, chats, and text messages a day.
  2. Suicide prevention programs including digital educational workshops for schools, TrevorSpace, our safe, monitored social network for LGBTQ youth and their peers, and a suite of additional programs to help youth build resiliency.

The fact is, the suicide rate among LGBTQ youth is unacceptably high. To be frank, even one life is too many, but the unfortunate truth is that the rate is highest among LGBTQ youth.

Fortunately, groups like The Trevor Project, helped by fantastic sponsors such as Kimpton Hotels and Foresters Financial, are making inroads on changing the LGBTQ youth suicide paradigm and embarking on a level of sociological innovation through technology.

“We are now in developing a tool that will give young people access to our digital crisis counselors through Facebook messenger,” Miss Alvarado proudly states.

“The process is already underway for us to quadruple our capacity for our digital crisis services, so that by late 2018, we can be there for young people through TrevorChat and TrevorText and now Facebook messenger twenty-four, seven. Every day,” she finishes.

It’s a noble mission backed by a powerful message, that of The Trevor Project. Spending time at the Red Star Tavern with Chef Dolan Lane – we are no strangers to the Red Star – is always a pleasure.

There really is nothing quite like the mixture of good food, good drink, good company and a good cause. Here’s to Kimpton Hotels, Foresters Financial and The Trevor Project for making it all possible and fighting for the health and safety of our nation’s LGBTQ youth.

William BessettePDX People Contributor

William BessetteWilliam Bessette is a journalist and freelance writer who has been covering politics, entertainment, culture and travel for over thirteen years. When he’s not profiling Portland-area restaurants and residents, you can find him reporting on national and international travel and eco-tourism through his travel brand, Floppy Hat Adventures

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