BY BTL STAFF
FERNDALE – As Affirmations gears up to host its 2016 autumn fundraiser, the organization looks back on all that has changed since the first Fall Fling last year.
Affirmations, one of the 10 largest LGBT community centers in the nation, located right in the heart of downtown Ferndale, has changed a lot since bringing in new Executive Director Susan Erspamer and going through a big staffing shift.
Erspamer joined Affirmations in November 2015 and since then the organization has expanded and improved upon many of the services it had offered such as: developed a larger volunteer base, reorganized its staffing structure, streamlined and aligned programs to better reflect its mission, created an aggressive annual plan to increase grant applications 250 percent (a significant increase from 2015), launched evidence-based youth programming, implemented the L.E.A.D. Institute, increased education initiatives, refocused its attention on the community centers as a destination for programs and services and developed an effective process for vendor procurement.
Erspamer met with many longtime activists and leaders in the Michigan LGBT community, past and present Affirmation’s volunteers, supporters, current and former board members and a few former staff members to get better acclimated with the political and social climate affecting the LGBT community of Metro Detroit.
“Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to meet with me and share Affirmations’ historical information, along with your hopes and visions for Affirmations future. I’ve cherished each of those conversations,” Erspamer wrote in a release about the Fling..
Fall Fling, held inside Affirmations’ will feature live entertainment, raffles, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and desserts. For those who have not attended an Affirmations fundraiser, expect an opportunity to see the center in action, welcome the beauty of the new season and get to know the staff and volunteers.
“As summer winds down and we look forward to the colors of autumn, I would like to personally invite you to join us at the Affirmations Fall Fling fundraiser,” Erspamer wrote.
Erspamer personally noted that she is excited to meet new LGBTQ and ally faces at this year’s event.
“Affirmations needs each of you as we look to the future; the community is and will always be the backbone of the organization and the key to its success,” Erspamer continued.
The money raised from Fall Fling 2016 will support implementation of Affirmations’ life-transforming programs and services such as the the many counseling services, the relationship skills class, sexual health testing resources, tobacco prevention and cessation, the L.E.A.D. institute, over 15 discussion groups that meet weekly, and the various youth oriented services.
“Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to meet with me and share Affirmations’ historical information, along with your hopes and visions for Affirmations’ future. I’ve cherished each of those conversations,” Erspamer wrote.
Fall Fling 2016 will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Affirmations. Tickets cost $50 per person and can be purchased at http://www.goaffirmations.org/fall-fling-2016.
Affirmations is located at 290 West Nine Mile Road in Ferndale. Please dress casually.
For more information contact the Director of Development, Katie Kock at firstname.lastname@example.org.