Local

Utah Gay Fathers Association expands services, plans fundraiser

The Utah Gay Fathers Association is expanding: having added a second monthly meeting and launching a fundraising dinner on April 14, 4 p.m., at a member’s home in Salt Lake City. The funds raised will help offset organizational costs and pay for participation in the Utah Pride Festival, said Ben Visser, director of the UGFA.

With more than 40 attendees at the last meeting, the organization is growing fast and outgrowing the current meeting space, Visser’s apartment.

“It is so rewarding and we’re growing much faster than I anticipated,” Visser said.

Since 2009, the group has been a valuable resource for gay fathers in Utah and is exploring the possibility of expanding to Northern Utah and expanding services and the location of the Salt Lake City meetings. The group meets on the first Sunday and third Tuesday of each month. There are also quarterly events for Spanish-speaking fathers and group members. The schedule is updated with extra activities, including the fundraiser on April 14, and details of all the activities are posted on utahgayfathers.com.

The April fundraiser is titled Spring Fling 2012 and participants are invited to dress in their best cowboy and cowgirl attire. The western-themed dinner and event will include raffle prizes, western inspired tapas, cash bar, a disc jockey, awards recognition and a chance to mingle with the community.  Tickets are $20 each or $35 for two. Proceeds will help the organization attend the Utah Pride Festival, where they won an award for being the best new parade entry in 2011.

The group is also looking for a volunteer to help launch their Future Fathers program for expecting gay fathers and those who want to have children. The group is expanding into a future where gay adoption and acceptance of gay couples are increasing drastically.

The group’s mission is “to celebrate fathers and all gay men through fellowship and support. Our focus is to embrace, affirm, and improve ourselves as gay fathers and men; to socialize and share the unique and universal joys, strengths, and challenges that we face as gay fathers in Utah… Future Fathers events such as adoption, surrogacy, and IVF information clinics, legal nights where we discuss issues pertaining to various aspects of gay fatherhood, and other social gatherings to uplift and support each other.”

Whether looking to adopt or looking for a social outlet to find support with other gay fathers, the UGFA is the perfect outlet. Go to utahgayfathers.com for more information or to purchase tickets to the Spring Fling 2012.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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