Pride Kicks Off with Melody4Equality

A few days before Utah Pride Festival begins, Community In-Roads Alliance will hold Melody4Equality, an acoustic concert to benefit Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center.

The group is dedicated to supporting gay and transgender-friendly businesses and political organizations and raising awareness of issues effecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer Utahns. Its board members consist of Rhonda Martinez and her partner DeAnna Worthington, Joni Weiss, Kim Paulus, Natalia Jocson and Adria Phillips.

Melody4Equality will be held at Club Jam, 751 N 300 W, on May 29 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. and will feature local acoustic musicians Andy Livingston and Debi Graham. According to Martinez, the first Melody4Equality, held at the club in February, drew approximately 200 attendees. At this event, KRCL radio producer and QSaltLake columnist Troy Williams emceed and local band Foil Kit Lampy played.

“Club Jam was very pleased. They said we did very well,” said Martinez. “We also had a good mixture of a crowd last time of the LGBT and straight communities.”

The goal of Melody4Equality and every event the alliance sponsors, added Martinez, is to bring gay, transgender and allied Utahns together “in a positive way, to get together and have a good time, and to let everyone feel they have a part and that they’re doing something for the community.”

A $10 donation at the door is required to attend May’s Melody4Equality. This covers the performance and refreshments by Cantu’s Culinary Creations (which specializes in international food), and deserts by Gourmandise the Bakery. A prize raffle will be held, which will include gift certificates to Desert Edge Brewery, Sugarhouse BBQ and Epic Salon, and framed art by Darin Jones and a one night stay at Under the Lindens bed and breakfast will be offered as prizes in a silent auction. Raffle tickets cost $2 each or $5 for three. More surprises, Martinez added, will be revealed as the night goes on.

“Our community needs each and every one of us. So come out, listen to some good music, eat some good food, relax and enjoy some great company — and support our/your community while doing it,” she said.

In the past few months, Community In-Roads Alliance has been involved in a number of charitable projects benefiting gay and transgender-friendly organizations. These have included Café Marmalade’s “8 on the 8th Day” event, during which the bistro (located at the Utah Pride Center) donates eight percent of its proceeds to organizations such as Equality Utah. In December, the group has also held a movie night at Brewvies at which they raised over $1,000 for various community organizations.

“We did really well,” said Martinez. “We got a lot of support from the community and local businesses.”

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