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Side By Side announces 2018 Catalyst Award recipients, plans celebration in their honor

The nonprofit, which works with LGBTQ+ youth, will recognize three local organizations for their efforts to help them feel included and thrive on May 19th.

Trevor Dickerson



Local LGBTQ+ youth nonprofit Side by Side (formerly ROSMY) announced this week the recipients of its Catalyst Awards, a program that recognizes efforts to support these youth across Virginia. The organization, which creates supportive communities where they can define themselves, belong and flourish, will honor the Catalyst Award recipients at the “Springtime: Celebrate Side by Side” event on Saturday, May 19th at the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club.

The 2018 Catalyst recipients include:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters – Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally-supported one-to-one mentoring relationships. The Richmond market is home to one of eight pilot programs the nonprofit is launching designed specifically for mentoring relationships with LGBTQ+ youth. Side by Side worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters on inclusivity training and opportunities to include people in the program across the gender spectrum.
  • Ginter Park Presbyterian Church – A strong advocate of Richmond’s LGBTQ+ community, Ginter Park Presbyterian volunteers regularly provide meals for Side by Side’s weekly Transgender Support Group. This spring the church will also host Side by Side’s annual youth prom.
  • John Atkins – John Atkins is a longtime supporter of the organization. Every summer he opens his home to an annual pool party for Side by Side youth. Because of bullying, many LGBTQ+ youth aren’t able to experience the pool during summer, but the annual pool party is an opportunity for youth to enjoy a summer tradition in a safe and affirming place. 

“This year’s honorees were chosen based on their commitment to supporting LGBTQ+ youth in our community,” said Side by Side executive director Ted Lewis. “We’re proud to work with so many incredible people making a positive impact in the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. We can’t wait to honor our Catalyst recipients at the Springtime event.”

Early bird tickets for $125 are available until March 31st. Afterwards, tickets will be $150. The evening includes a cocktail reception, the Catalyst Awards presentation, and a silent auction featuring art and vacation homes.

For more information and ticket sales, visit the event website or call 804.644.4800.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.