Revelry With a Cause

The Stonewall Community Foundation’s annual happening is a party with a purpose.
October 15, 2014
(Revel, a party for a good cause)
 
How often can you say that a night of dancing and drinking and celebrating with friends has supported important causes in your city and done good for your community? If you like your partying to make changes in the lives of the people you care about, look no further than Revel, the annual event that raises money to directly help the LGBTQ community.
 
The Stonewall Community Foundation, founded in 1990 amid the HIV/AIDS crisis, organizes Revel annually. “[It was a time] where loss could be turned into legacy and where giving could become gains for our movement,” explains Jarrett Lucas, Stonewall Community Foundation’s executive director. Since 1990, the organization has raised more than $17 million, directing the funds to over 600 nonprofits impacting issues from homelessness and violence to immigration and marriage equality.
 
Unlike many other organizations, the money raised by the Stonewall Community Foundation provides tangible help to the queers of New York City. The foundation supports 50 grantmaking programs, eight scholarship funds, and monthly training workshops for local LGBTQ leaders. 
 
This makes Revel a party with a purpose. “It’s a chance for people to come together and support the only New York foundation that is by and for the LGBTQ community,” explains Lucas. In just the past five years, they’ve raised over $400,000 at Revel for grants, scholarships, and programs. So, in many ways, the event doubles as a well-deserved celebration for their donors.
 
But the Stonewall Community Foundation isn’t content to simply party. They’ll also be awarding $30,000 in grants at the October 24 event, a first in its 16-year history. “We’re excited to give Revel-ers a front-row seat to this milestone,” adds Lucas.
 
Many of New York’s most connected and giving gays are involved in making Revel a smashing success every year. The 2014 volunteer host committee is made up of more than 20 people, most of whom are longtime SCF supporters. They include promoter Jason Hellinger, and Inter-Pret.us owner and designer Derek Guillemette. Along with Revel co-chairs Justin Huebener, Trish Chobrda, and Corey Starbuck. 
 
Also invovled is former Next Magazine Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Solomon. “A lot of us want to give back to our community, we just don’t know how or where,” says Solomon. “Stonewall is a gateway to discovering the needs of our community and the incredible people and organizations helping fill those needs. At Revel, you'll engage with like-minded people who feel philanthropy isn’t just for the rich, that know donating money can be fun and want to make sure all LGBTQ New Yorkers have a chance to succeed.”
 
Raising money for an important cause can be an exhaustive process, and Revel gives something back to the people who dedicate themselves to giving back to their community. “Revel makes [our] work fun,” says Lucas. “It’s also a way for us to find new audiences. Every year there are always a lot of first-time Revel-ers in addition to the hundreds of Revel veterans. By simply showing up, people can help Stonewall continue to direct grants and vital resources to the organizations, projects, and people fighting to secure and defend LGBTQ rights, uplift our lives, and ensure our wellbeing and safety.”
 
And by showing up, partygoers will be treated to a great time. “This year it’s all about the people,” adds Lucas, who expects a crowd off 500 Revel-ers, “from all over the city partying with friends, Grindr-ing and Scruff-ing, [and] enjoying the open bar.” DJ Vito Fun will be supplying beats all night and ladies from Pageant: The Musical will provide entertainment and glamour. Revel is one party where the music and cocktails won’t be the only things that have you feeling good; you’ll be able to leave knowing that your revelry helped make a difference in the lives of your queer community.
 
Revel at Stage 48, 605 W 48th St (btwn 11th/12th Aves), October 24 8pm–11pm; $75 advance/$90 general admission. Visit stonewallfoundation.org for more info.