As Gay Games VIII approaches–to be held July 31–Aug. 7 in Cologne, Germany–local sports enthusiasts have formed Team Utah to help Utah athletes represent at the largest international gay and lesbian sporting event.
Supported by the Salt Lake City Gay Athletic Association, Team Utah announced its opening fundraiser. It will be held April 9 at Club JAM, 751 North 300 West. At the fundraiser, the team will introduce t-shirts with their stunning logo, which was designed and donated by Delaney Peterson a member of the Queer Utah Aquatic Club and leader of Delaney Hiking Club. The fundraiser will start at 9 p.m.
“We had over 150 athletes go to the Chicago Gay Games four years ago,” said Mark McGowan, a local realtor and a consistent Gay Games participant. “I plan to go again this year and participate in golf, and any help in getting all Utah athletes to the games from the community is truly appreciated.”
Athletes participating at the Gay Games are required to register and pay a general entrance fee. Each sport also has a separate entry fee for participation. Airfare to Germany currently averages over $1,200 per person, plus other expenses include lodging, equipment shipment, food and transportation to the event locations, which are scattered throughout the city.
“We plan on providing Team Utah pins in the shape of the Team Utah logo, t-shirts, hats and possibly duffel bags to each participant that attends,” said Lisa Le Duc, QUAC Vice President as well as a swimmer and Team Utah’s point person. “The pins are traded as mementos by athletes from other cities and countries to commemorate the camaraderie and friendships gained at the games. They are really popular for trading and they represent your city or state team.”
Team Utah is planning fundraisers at bars, restaurants and at house parties in the months to come. These will include pool parties, car washes and other services to the community at large. The team is also planning on holding a fundraiser during the Utah Pride Festival.
“Team Hardwood will have a very competitive team participating at this year’s Gay Games,” said Clark Cutler, a member of the Salt Lake gay men’s basketball team who is planning to attend his first Gay Games. “Team Utah is looking for sponsors and we will promote said sponsors to an international gay and lesbian demographic at this huge event.”
Team Utah meets at Au Naturale, 880 East 2100 South, on Monday nights. At the meetings they will plan promotions and logistics for getting 20 swimmers and water polo team members, eight basketball players, a couple of bowlers, a past Gay Games cycling medalist and tri-athletes to this year’s games. Anyone is welcome to come to meetings and volunteers are needed to help organize and sign up sponsors and promote fundraisers.
Contact Lisa Le Duc at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the Team Utah’s Facebook page where you can find out more about the athletes that will be representing Utah at Gay Games VIII and ask questions about Team Utah. For more information on the Federation of Gay Games, go to gaygames.com.
Cycle Out Gears Up For Rides
Cycle Out, Utah ’s gay and lesbian cycling club, has begun training rides and planning attendance at premier event rides this year. These include AIDS/LifeCycle 9 (June 6–12) and the annual Harmons Best Dam Bike Ride (June 26–27) in which they ride as Team Try-Angles. Anyone is welcome to attend training rides and join the event rides with the support of the experienced cyclists in the group.
“Each year I focus fundraising efforts towards a new and different cause or organization, and this year I selected AIDS/LifeCycle 9,” said Jeffrey Woods, Cycle Out’s most enthusiastic training ride leader. “The idea of riding 545 miles seems impossible, but it starts with one pedal stroke after another.”
AIDS/LifeCycle 9, formerly called California AIDS Ride, is a fully supported bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It is held to raise funds for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Fully supported means that the ride has organized camping grounds and a set number of miles each day that riders bike. A fully supported ride also provides participants with breakfast, lunch and dinner, and event staff, or ‘roadies,’ will pick up lagging riders and drive them to that evening’s destination, if they need it. Cyclists wake early and ride until 7 p.m. and are allowed to go at their own pace during the seven-day ride through the interior and along the coast of California.
This year, University of Utah Police Detective Clayton Binks, former Salt Lake resident and Utah AIDS Foundation staffer David Ferguson and Woods have signed up to raise funds for AIDS/LifeCycle 9. They will be supporting each other in training and raising $3,000 each to participate in the ride.
“I’ve always wanted to see the coast from a bicycle and this seemed like a great opportunity to do that and do it for a good cause,” said Binks. “I’ve been riding consistently for only three years. I bought it [the bike] when I quit smoking as a way to keep busy and it has worked out great.”
Woods is billing the AIDS/LifeCycle team as ‘The Three Manmanteers’ and planning various events to help his team reach a larger donor base and raise their combined $9,000. An upcoming fundraiser includes dinner with Mr. Cub Utah 2010 and chef Kyle Burns at Park City’s Windy Ridge Café on April 3, at 7 p.m. RSVPs are required by April and a suggested donation of $30 is requested.
“I did the very first AIDS Ride in 1994. It was an amazing, life changing experience for me,” said Ferguson, who rode with Cycle Out two years ago in the MS 150. “I chose SFAF because when I first moved to San Francisco, I was in danger of going without my HIV meds since I wasn’t working and could not afford the co-pay even with COBRA. SFAF set me up within one day and I had access to my meds. I know that I am one of many thousands they have helped.”
Although Ferguson moved to San Francisco he still has many ties to Salt Lake City, and was one of the original founders and organizers of QUAC. (See related story, in Issue 147, Feb. 4, 2010).
Upcoming Cycle Out rides will be held every other Saturday. Beginning April 3, the Salt Lake City Bike Collective will provide an ‘open shop’ for enthusiasts to get their bikes tuned up for spring riding. The shop and rides will be held from 1–5 p.m. at 2312 S. West Temple. For more information about training rides and other bike-related training or repair, go to cycleout.org or email email@example.com to get placed on an email list.
Temple Squares in Full Swing
The local gay and lesbian square dancing club, Temple Squares, will host their first ‘Fly-in’ April 2 – 4 at the Columbus Community Center of South Salt Lake, 3495 Southwest Temple. Officially named Pioneer Promenade I, this is a weekend event where invited square dancers from across the country will travel to Salt Lake City to participate. The weekend will feature square dancing and square dancing workshops, meeting new friends, and the graduation of the local beginner’s class that started last fall. The featured guest is Anne Uebelacker, an internationally known who hales from Vancouver, British Columbia’s program, Squares Across the Border.
“We are really excited to have Anne here to call for us, and it is a great opportunity for people in Salt Lake City to experience a caller of Anne’s caliber,” said Ross Crawshaw-Lopton, president of Temple Squares.
Uebelacker started calling in 1977 for a children’s group and has progressed to call for all levels, from basic to C4. She is in great demand and regularly calls at events in Vancouver, Boston , San Francisco and locations in Europe and Japan . She is known for her relaxed style and easy listening voice, and has won many fans at official international conventions.
A warm up called ‘Trail-In’ begins on Friday night with check-in at 6:30 p.m., and marks “the end of the dusty trail” or dancers last chance to brush up on what they have learned.
On Saturday morning, the new Mainstream graduates will have a chance to improve their skills with a Mainstream workshop from 9:30–10:30 a.m., and those interested in learning Plus can take the Intro to Plus workshop from 10:30–11:30 am. If you haven’t participated in a while, these workshops are a great way to refresh your feet on the steps and rhythm of the square dance. A two hour Plus level Challenge dance runs from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and a two hour Advanced dance begins at 3:30 p.m. A potluck banquet and the Mainstream Graduation Ceremony will be held Saturday night at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to watch the weekend’s events and beginners can learn basic steps on Saturday night after graduation, when square dancing begins at 7:30 p.m. Sunday will feature square dancing at all levels from 12:30–2:30 p.m. The location for this event has not been determined yet.
This year, members of Temple Squares will also be attending the International Association of Gay Square Dance Clubs, the 27th Annual Convention of gay and lesbian square dancers, which is officially called ‘Chi-Town Shakedown 2010.’ It will be held in Chicago from July 1–4. Also expect to see the Temple Squares at the Utah Pride Festival in June, recruiting new dancers to learn the art of Modern Western Square Dance. Mainstream classes are held each Thursday or Friday from 7–9 p.m. at the Sacred Light of Christ Metropolitan Community Church, 823 S. 600 East in Salt Lake City. Plus classes begin mid-April. This is a dance program available to square dancers who have mastered Basic and Mainstream programs.
For more information about the Temple Squares and the fly-in’s events, check out templesquares.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.