The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, an organization that works to elect LGBT leaders into public office, will host a champagne brunch Sunday, Oct. 16 at the Hutton Hotel in downtown Nashville.

Tickets for the event are $100. It will include assorted refreshments, a silent auction, and a selection of speakers. The featured guest is Joel Burns, a city councilman in Fort Worth, Texas, who garnered national attention last October when his impassioned speech about bullied gay teens went viral.

Chuck Wolfe, President/CEO of the Victory Fund, will also be in attendance. Since 1991, the organization he founded has helped thousands of openly LGBT candidates win election to local, state and federal offices.

 "We're hoping to build a Victory Fund presence with many trainings and just continue to build an awareness of the organization," says Jim Schmidt, Nashville's representative on the Victory Fund Board of Directors. "Financial support from our community helps. I anticipate a lot of national board members will be in attendance. We really want to showcase Nashville as a welcoming place."

Three corporate sponsors have signed on for the event: AT&T, Curb Records, and Fifth Third Bank. Their outspoken support goes a long way towards the Victory Fund's simple but profound goal.

"We are educating people on what takes to be involved and want to give more people an opportunity to get into politics," Schmidt says.

Nashville is one of only six cities hosting a Victory Fund brunch this year, testament to the influence of the city's LGBT advocates and their active participation in local politics. Organizers are currently building a list of table captains who will lead publicity efforts for the event.  With recent state legislation offering no support of the LGBT community, their assistance is as important as ever.

"It helps when there are people locally who want to drive an event like this," Schmidt says."The program is going to be short and fun. It's very interactive: we have great video and it's going to be a fun day. The community has really galvanized around what's been happening and they're looking for something inspirational."    


This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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