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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
June 23, 2006

Dinner caps two weeks of Dayton Pride

Dayton--�Commemorate, Educate, Liberate� was the theme for the annual Dayton Pride Dinner celebration held June 17. The David H. Ponitz Center on the campus of Sinclair Community College hosted the attendance record-setting event.

The evening began with a business exposition at 5:30 pm with a display of memorabilia commemorating the last 20 years of Pride, and Pride celebrations in Dayton. As folk began to settle into the main banquet hall, host Rob Austin sang a stirring rendition of �I Am What I Am� from the musical La Cage Aux Folles, to begin the dinner and entertainment.

The Dayton Lesbian and Gay Center�s board president Vicki Hahn, along with executive director John Gantt, presented Distinguished Service Awards to Leon Bey and Aaron Schaefer for their many long years of service to the gay community as volunteers and board member of the center.

What is a dinner without great food? The staff at the Ponitz Center served a great dinner of chicken in mushroom sauce served over rice pilaf with steamed vegetables. Dessert was a fabulous cheese cake topped with fresh strawberries.

An impressive card of dignitaries was on hand to show their support, from Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin with the city�s commissioners.

Openly gay Dayton City Schools board member Joe Lacey educated the 600-plus in attendance by saying he won his seat because of his �family values.� His election was won because of his extended gay family, he said.

Lacey noted that during the election, the Dayton Daily News listed many attributes of the school board candidates. Needless to say, he joked, a 46-year-old screaming queen was not on their list but Dayton� extended family put him there all the same.

While the Dayton Gay Men�s Chorus serenaded diners with song, Lynn Bowman, executive director of Equality Ohio, challenged the audience to liberate the state from Number 51--dead last among the 50 states and D.C. in rights extended to the GLBT community.

Kevin Moore and Scott Stoney dramatically delivered a very heartfelt look at a three-decade relationship. They announced that this year will mark 34 years together.

Moore and Stoney are resident artists with the Human Race Theater Company. Their presentation began with scenes from Gregg Coffin�s Convenience and ending with a song written by Stoney especially for Moore, who is also Human Race�s executive director.

But the night would not be complete without a show by the fabulous Rubi Girls, a prime example of the aphorism, �Ordinary men can do extraordinary things for a community in need.� While making audiences laugh, this troupe has raised awareness and over $100,000 for AIDS causes. This evening, diners laughed until they cried.

Finally, Gantt returned to the stage to thank everyone for attending the 2006 Pride celebrations and contributing to make the night a wonderful success.

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