Local News Briefing, March 15-21, 2019

Heroes among us

Twelve years ago, Delaware Valley Legacy Fund established an award designed to recognize and embrace those LGBT community members and allies who have dedicated much time and energy to advance rights, health and legal status of Philadelphians and the region.

Initially there was a single award — the Inividual Hero Award was. It was presented to Charles Bachrach in 2003, and in 2004 it was awarded to Barbara Gittings and Kay Lahusen. Since then, the list of annual heroes has grown to seven: Individual Hero, Youth Hero, Straight Ally Hero, Local Business Hero, Local Nonprofit Hero, National Buisness Hero and Lifetime Legacy Hero.

DVLF is currently taking nominations for the next round of awardees, who will be recognized next month at the annual HEROES brunch. The nomination process includes identifying youth, adults, nonprofits, straight allies and businesses that have “bold ideas, act with selfless intention, are admired for their integrity and are regarded as courageous” while working in and for LGBTQ equality in the greater Philadelphia area.

DVLF honors these HEROES each year in celebration of their character, ideas and passion for work that the nonprofit deems exemplary. The hope is that these individuals and organizations will inspire and energize others to follow their example.

This year’s HEROES brunch will be held 12:30-3:30 p.m. April 7 at Hotel Monaco Philadelphia. For more information about the event, sponsorships or to nominate a 2019 HEROES candidate, visit https://www.dvlf.org/heroes.


Trans Care Services is now Gender Affirming Services

Mazzoni Center has changed the name of its Trans Care Services program to Gender Affirming Services effective March 4. They have stated that the name change is “an opportunity for us to fortify our commitment to affirm all genders and to continue modeling inclusion.” Mazzoni has been providing care since 2003 to the transgender, gender non-conforming, nonbinary and gender-queer community.

Mazzoni Center was among the first to adopt an informed-consent model, which enables staff to provide trans-affirmative services to each client and patient in association with where they are in their journey.

“With more than 4,000 TGNC [trans-gender non-conforming] current patients, and 750 new patients coming to Mazzoni for gender-affirming services each year, it’s inspiring to think back to our first year when we had a total of 20 patients,” Care Services Director Alecia Manley said. “We remain committed to continually learning, improving and changing to meet the needs of our communities.”

For additional information on Gender-Affirming Services or other Mazzoni programs, visit mazzonicenter.org.


Put on your dancing shoes

Koresh Dance Company, founded by Ronen “Roni” Koresh, will host a company audition for the 2019-20 dance season starting 3:30 p.m. April 14 at the Koresh School of Dance, 2002 Rittenhouse Square. The company holds critically acclaimed performances during its biannual Philadelphia seasons.

Interested dancers should be athletic and technically advanced and should have good stage presence. Training in different dance styles including ballet, jazz, modern and contemporary is required.

To register, visit koreshdance.org/company-audition. There is a $5 fee at the door. For additional information, visit facebook.com/koresh.dance.


Dating app makes new home in New Hope

Meet Group, the New Hope social-media company, said it has acquired Growlr for $11.8 million — $4 million in cash, $7 million-plus from its bankers. Meet reported that its 2018 sales totaled $179 million. Growlr expects 2019 revenues of $5.3 million.

CEO Geoff Cook cofounded Meet and led the firm through its growth.

“It allows us to be one of the first people to bring live-streaming video to same-sex dating the same way we have already done in bringing live streaming to straight dating,” Cook said in an interview. “Our goal is to build the best place to meet new people through video.”

Growlr’s main asset is the company’s high user engagement, with 20,000 daily active users sending millions of chats each day. Cook said he expects Growlr to help Meet reach new users, especially for its live video products. Meet currently has more than 900,000 users.

— compiled by Scott A. Drake