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Anti-violence reward fund gala raises more than $5K

A fundraiser to benefit the anti-violence reward fund raised more than $5,000, and is being made available to a tipster that leads police to the arrest and conviction of suspects in the Dane Hall or Cameron Nelson attacks. The fundraiser, held on Oct. 5 in Salt Lake City, attracted more than 100 people and was sponsored by the Q Business Alliance, which is a group of Utah businesses owned and operated by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community and their allies.

The fund shows, in a proactive role, that the queer business community has influence and power, said Michael Sanders, membership director of the Q Business Alliance and owner of Now & Again.

“The reward fund sends a message to those that commit violent crimes against our community that we have money and resources to fight back,” Sanders said. “As more and more business owners come out and show their support for the community, our strength grows.”

The fundraiser included a silent auction and Iron Florist competition, which pitted some of Utah’s best florists against each other to make amazing arrangements onsite in a 30-minute time period. More than $25,000 worth of in-kind donations were donated and the majority of those products and services came from people who wouldn’t normally identify as allies to the queer community, Sanders said.

“We may not always agree with each other, but the one thing that all Utahns can come together on is that violence is never the solution,” Sanders said. “Our donors all saw the need to speak out against violence.”

The Q Business Alliance was formed in 2010 as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and ally chamber of commerce and is a project of QCares Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization. For more information or to become a member, go to QBusinessAlliance.com.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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