NASHVILLE – Just Us at the Oasis Center invites the greater Nashville GLBT community and its allies to journey back to the ‘70s with Disco Ball: Studio 54, the new benefit party to be held at Ruby on Blakemore Saturday, May 19, from 8 p.m. to midnight.

“We wanted an event that would provide an atmosphere of high energy and a lot of fun,” said Pamela Sheffer, Program Coordinator for Just Us. “No other era in [music] history combines those two traits like disco. We also wanted an event that could be re-created year after year with a new twist. This year it is ‘Studio 54’, and in years to come, it will be a different theme that creates new energy and excitement around supporting a great cause.”

Since its beginnings in 1969, the Oasis Center has been Davidson County’s drop-in center for teens in crisis. Over the past four decades it has evolved into one of the nation’s leading youth-serving organizations, offering safety, opportunity and hope to Nashville’s most vulnerable youth. Launching in July 2011, the Just Us program at the Oasis Center was the first program designed specifically to address the needs of GLBT youth through empowerment and engagement programming on a weekly basis along with counseling, crisis, emergency shelter, and college connection services.

“In it’s first 8 months of programming, Just Us has had 40 young people enroll in the program, representing 14 different high schools throughout Davidson County,” said Sheffer, who began working with the Oasis Center as a full-time volunteer researching and developing the Just Us program from vision to reality.

Along with helping gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth to achieve their full potential, Just Us works toward a “Community Climate Change” to ensure that GLBT youth have safe and accepting schools, increased family acceptance, access to quality healthcare, and access to safe housing. Through partnerships with local, regional, and national organizations and agencies, Just Us has the goal to change the odds for GLBT youth in Middle Tennessee.

To help reach this goal, Sheffer got together a group of well-known activists throughout the Nashville community who have helped organize the fundraising event.

“There are many event sponsors that are involved in creating this signature fundraiser,” Sheffer said. “Amos Gott, of AmosEvents, is responsible for transforming Ruby into the Studio 54 nightclub. He has done exhaustive research on the details of the original New York City club to ensure that patrons feel like they have taken a step back in time to 1977 when Studio 54 was at the height of it’s popularity. DJ Ron is taking the lead on making Studio 54 shake with the thunder of ‘70s funk – no one will be able to keep themselves from dancing. Burger Up will be serving as our food sponsor for the VIP patrons.”

Just Us has had many corporate sponsors step up to support the Disco Ball: Studio 54 event, and without their financial commitment, Sheffer has acknowledged that Just Us would not have been able to host such a signature fundraiser. She extended her thanks to Michael Burcham, CAT Financial, Bridgestone, Elan Skin, Elan Hair, and Van Pond Architecture.

Disco Ball: Studio 54 will be held Saturday, May 19, from 8 p.m. to midnight at Ruby on Blakemore. For tickets and more information, visit www.nowplayingnashville.com

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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