The Greater New Orleans Foundation has announced the launch of a fund that will channel charitable contributions to local organizations working to improve the quality of life for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Launched on the anniversary of the UpStairs Lounge fire, which was intentionally set in 1973 at a gay bar in the French Quarter and resulted in the death of thirty-two people, the fund expects to award ten to fifteen grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 in its first round of grantmaking. Until last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the UpStairs Lounge fire had been the deadliest attack on a gay club in U.S. history.
"The Greater New Orleans Foundation is playing a vital role of raising awareness and support for organizations that represent the interests of LGBT communities," said GNOF board chair Cheryl Teamer, who noted that the foundation will not assess any fees to administer the fund. "This fund will allow us to better understand LGBT challenges in the community and find ways to address them."