OYA and Parliament House’s Easter tradition continues with Babes in Bonnets

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: A sample of the bonnets auctioned off at the 2018 Babes in Bonnets event. Photo by Tabitha Widby

ORLANDO | The Parliament House will once again host the Easter holiday auction Babes in Bonnets, which fund raises for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA).

Each fundraiser over the past several years has continued to surpass the one before it, with last year’s auction bringing in a record $32,171. The fundraiser itself has been around for 21 years and was started by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia.

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Orlando Youth Alliance selected to be Lucky’s Market 1st quarter fundraiser partner

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ORLANDO | Lucky’s Market, located at 11750 E Colonial Dr, announced Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) as one of its three nonprofit partners participating in Bags for Change, a quarterly fundraiser hosted by the supermarket chain.  Lucky’s Bags for Change program will help raise funds for OYA from Feb. 3 to May 25.

OYA is a nonprofit local organization providing LGBTQ youth a safe place and support group to discuss any issues or concerns in their lives and includes members from ages 13 to 24.

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Central Florida Overheard: Church Closure

By : anonymous
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Reeves United Methodist Church, a church that has been in Orlando for nearly 100 years, permanently closed their doors leaving parishioners without a place to worship. The church was scheduled to close May 1 to be re-opened later this year as a daycare center, but decided to shut down a couple weeks early. Church volunteers were left to pack up their belongings while a locksmith was changing the locks, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The church was not just home to the roughly 30 church members, but was also home to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups, as well as a rehearsal and storage location for the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard and a meeting space for the Orlando Youth Alliance.

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Central Florida’s Easter tradition Babes in Bonnets celebrates 20 years

By : Randa Griffin
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Babes in Bonnets, an annual fundraiser event benefiting the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), is back for its 20th anniversary at the Parliament House Footlight Theatre March 26.

The event, hosted this year again by Ms. Darcel Stevens and Blue Star, was originally created 20 years ago by the legendary drag performer Carmella Marcella Garcia.

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Orlando Youth Alliance gives $14,000 in scholarships

By : Anna M. Johnson
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The Audubon Park Exchange community room, hidden above East End Market, buzzed with conversations ranging from the political climate of Central Florida to the effectiveness of the lighting in a production of Les Miserables. The students leading those talks wouldn’t be able to study politics or theatre without the help of local LGBT group Orlando Youth Alliance.

OYA serves LGBTQ children and adults between the ages of 13 and 24 in their three Central Florida locations. OYA specifically focuses on offering a community with safe spaces for self-expression. They hosted their reception for their six scholarship winners on Wednesday night.

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The nascent Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee rises again to tackle gun reform

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – “Should OADO do something to eradicate automatic and semi-automatic weapons from American life?” the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee posted on its Facebook page July 3. “Who is up for the challenge?”

It was the first post from the legendary Orlando activist group in almost exactly two years. OADO has a long list of human-rights successes in the Orlando and Orange County areas, ranging from Orlando’s hot-tempered, pro-LGBT Chapter 57 battle in 2002, fair-housing ordinances, human rights ordinances, gender-identity ordinances, domestic partnership registries (the group notoriously argued with Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs through 2012 on this issue and its importance, forcing her to eventually, if half-heartedly, acquiesce). To most watching or involved, OADO had managed all that it could on a local level, and it had done so with great results and a lot of volunteer time spent.

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OYA celebrates 25 years of helping young adults in Central Florida

By : Dylan Drobet
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Orlando – The Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), notable for supporting the young LGBT community, is celebrating 25 years this month.

Michael Slaymaker became president of OYA in 2007 and has built on a legacy started 25 years ago.

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