Socially Distanced, But Still Side By Side

by | Jul 23, 2020 | QUEER RVA

Side By Side’s Springtime In The Summer fundraiser, originally scheduled to take place in May, will now take place August 1, with a combination of online events and socially distanced catering.

You can’t keep a good support group down, and Side By Side is proving that by finding ingenious ways to hold their annual springtime fundraiser regardless of what 2020 throws at us. Now known as Springtime In The Summer, the fundraiser, originally scheduled for May, will be taking place online on Saturday, August 1.

“We know the last few months have been extremely tough for people as the pandemic continues and the region and nation grapples with violence against Black people and systemic racism,” said Side by Side executive director Ted Lewis in a statement. “We hope Springtime gives people a chance to come together virtually to find community during this time. We also know nonprofits are not immune to the virus’ impact on the economy. Side by Side needs the community’s help more than ever to continue our mission to support LGBTQ+ youth living in Virginia.”

That community will have the opportunity to come together online starting on Monday, July 27, when Side By Side launches an online auction featuring some impressive items, including everything from a vacation home in Costa Rica to a basket of handblown ornaments designed by Patricia Breen, as well as “a collection of 30 fabulously fancy socks.” I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see that last one. The auction will close on August 1 at 11 PM.

Also on August 1, starting at 7 PM, Side By Side will take to Facebook live for a ceremony honoring 2020’s Catalyst Award recipients. Those honorees include:

  • Dr. Archana Pathak, who helped launch VCU’s LGBTQ+ Studies minor in 2019, and is the Interim Director for Q Collective, VCU’s LGBTQ resource and scholarship center.
  • Stonewall Sports Richmond, a nonprofit sports league for LGBTQ individuals and allies, who works toward creating a supportive and inclusive environment for sports and activities, and has also raised over $50,000 for other LGBTQ nonprofits.
  • Ginter Park Baptist Church, an LGBTQ-affirming congregation located in Northside Richmond, which regularly contributes to Side By Side’s meal program, offering a healthy meal to youth attending support groups at Side By Side.

Thankfully, despite the fact that the event will take place online, Side By Side has managed to ensure that all attendees can receive a catered dinner from Mosaic as part of their Catalyst Awards online experience. For $100, attendees can order a take-home dinner for two package that will include starters, entrees, sides, dessert, and either a bottle of wine, a six-pack of Hardywood beer, or Perrier. Orders can be placed by going to, and must be placed by Tuesday, July 28.

Order pickups will be available between 10 AM and 2 PM on the day of the ceremony, Saturday August 1, at Mosaic’s location at 3001 Cutshaw Ave in the Museum District. Local drag performer Natasha Carrington will be in attendance handing out orders, thereby ensuring that your meal experience is not only socially distanced but as fabulous as possible.

This fundraiser, which is presented by Altria, will help ensure that Side By Side can continue their work supporting and advocating for the LGBTQ youth of Central Virginia, an especially important task in this time of pandemic and protest against police violence. Be sure to show them your support, as their work will help ensure that the next generation of the LGBTQ community grows up as happy and healthy as possible.

Photo via Side By Side/Facebook

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.

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