Stars rock out for homeless kids

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newsbrief

New Alternatives is a nonprofit serving homeless LGBT youth based in New York. Its mission is “to increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth to enable them to ‘go beyond’ the shelter system and transition into stable adult lives.” You might be asking, why should I care? Truly a statement like that doesn’t show the scope of the hope and help that is needed.

On Feb. 9, a group of caring individuals got together at Bar-Tini Ultra Lounge on West 51st Street and 10th Avenue to raise money for the cause. The event was put together by talent coordinator Will Love, and first-time event planner Russell Scott Suggs, a founding member of the organization. The sole mission was to use the bar’s atmosphere, the list of celebrity talent and presence, and a silent auction consisting of fun jewelry, CDs, gift certificates and prizes to raise money for things like GED and SAT training, group therapy, trips, food, and many more services needed by the young people.

“I consider the event a success,” Suggs said. Indeed it was, mainly due to the fresh talent recruited by Will Love. Appearances were made by Real New Jersey Housewives Kim G. and Kim D., WKTU radio personality Cindy Vero from the show “Mornings with Cindy & Cubby,” and up-and-coming starlet amberRose Marie. Vero was the event’s host, and was eager to talk about why she had chosen to pledge her support to New Alternatives. “Will Love contacted me about this place,” Vero said. “When he told me what this place was about and that he needed my help to make a difference, I said sure. I mean, how could you not say yes?” Vero was a smart, funny and engaging host, who kept the light-hearted event moving smoothly.

While Vero entertained the masses,Suggs explained how he came to work for New Alternatives and what it meant to him. “It’s all about the kids,” Suggs said humbly. “I really identify with this population. My mother always used to say, and now I guess I say it too, ‘But for the grace of God there I am.'” Suggs’ selflessness is equaled by all who give their time and energy to the cause, but nobody gives more than group founder Kate Barnhart. Barnhart went up on stage about halfway through the event and told the story of a young person named Vincenzo. With the help of Kate, Russell and the other volunteers he was now attending college. There were tears in the audience. “Kate is the heart of this organization,” Suggs said of his colleague.

AmberRose Marie donated not only her services as a performer, but also her money in the form of the silent auction. “The thing about this institution that really got to me was that they’re open on the holidays,” amberRose said. “Not the day before Christmas, not the day after it, but on the actual day.” AmberRose performed three songs, all of them hot, sexy, and entertaining. Her backup dancers, Anna Nowack, Vincent Hernandez and Carrie Lee,  were all fierce and intense, but amberRose Marie proved that she is a star. “When I heard about what goes on out there I knew I had to do something,” amberRose said with conviction.

Information on the Web: www.newalternativesnyc.org

 

newsbrief

New Alternatives is a nonprofit serving homeless LGBT youth based in New York. Its mission is “to increase the self-sufficiency of homeless LGBT youth to enable them to ‘go beyond’ the shelter system and transition into stable adult lives.” You might be asking, why should I care? Truly a statement like that doesn’t show the scope of the hope and help that is needed.