Artist Mandai will be performing at the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland Saturday night to support Queer Culture and the larger queer community in the Valley. Photo submitted

Fundraising dance party to support Valley’s LGBTQ2+ community

With a goal of creating a positive connection and to provide a supportive community, Queer Culture is once again raising funds for the Langley Parnell Bursary for a member or ally of the queer community.

Queer Culture is a Comox-Valley based grassroots organization which produces entertainment and events for the LGBTQ2+ community of the Valley. They also support local LGBTQ2+ students and allies to continue their studies.

Both Jeff Stickler and Kitty Pitt are the driving forces behind the bursary, explained Eddy Betinol, owner of The Joint Physiotherapy + Sports Injury Centre, who is a supporter of an upcoming fundraising event for the bursary.

“(The bursary) really reaches out to youth,” he said. “It’s spreading positive vibes in the community.”

Two years ago, Queer Culture collected $2,100 for the scholarship; last year that amount topped $4,000.

In order for students to apply for the bursary, they must be 25 years of age or younger; enrolled in a post-secondary institution; be part of or allied in the queer community; provide a letter of support from a community leader (teacher, mentor); provide a copy of a school acceptance letter and a letter explaining how they intend on changing the world.

Betinol noted the organization hopes to support students in a variety of different ways.

“School is stressful enough, and there are very distinct challenges when someone decides to come out. The pressures put on by society hasn’t fully evolved yet. We want youth to know that there are people out there looking out for them.”

He added one goal this year is to increase applications for the bursary and to reach out to a wider community of students.

On Saturday, June 1, The Joint is celebrating their 10 year anniversary with a dance party at the Waverley Hotel in Cumberland, with all proceeds going to the Langley Parnell Bursary.

The event will feature Michael Red & Mandai, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. No advance tickets are required – donations will be accepted at the door. Everyone is welcome.

For more information about the event or bursary, visit Queer Culture on Facebook.

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