Vallarta Gay+ Community Center Holds Donor Appreciation Event

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The Vallarta Gay+ Community Center (VGCC), a recently established organization dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Vallarta, celebrated a series of milestones and held a special appreciation event at Casita and Garden to thank its donors. 

Those milestones have happened fast. The VGCC, which began operations in February 2024, has hired its first executive director; secured permanent office space and treated 299 patients.

Registered Nurse Pedro López was recently hired as the executive director, and announced that the new office space would open its doors to the public on May 13th. It’s located above the Vallarta Co-Work (Morelos 101-Local 3B, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico), next door to Anthropology. 

Pedro Lopez (left) is the new executive director of the Vallarta Gay+ Community Center. Photo by Oscar Almeida
Pedro Lopez (left) is the new executive director of the Vallarta Gay+ Community Center. Photo by Oscar Almeida.

“And thanks to the overwhelming support from the community, we have secured a six-month operating budget of $1.35 million pesos, with 25% allocated for administrative needs and the remaining dedicated directly to serving the community,” Lopez told supporters. 

Gay+ Community Center Donor Appreciation Event
Matt Karimi, chair of fundraising for the VGCC. Photo by Oscar Almeida

“We are incredibly grateful for the generous support we’ve received,” says Matt Karimi, chair of fundraising for the VGCC. “Thanks to our more than 200 individual donors, we’ve been able to establish a solid foundation to provide essential services to the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Vallarta.”

The board of directors for the VGCC includes Don Pickens, president; Mike Owens, secretary; Mikel Alvarez, treasurer; Jet De La Isla, communications chair. Dr. Ashlee Hernandez Castellón has joined the VGCC as its medical director. 

At the event, guests enjoyed delicious food and an evening of music by Diego Guerrero and his band. Casita and Garden owner Francie Nguyen was busy making sure guests enjoyed a variety of various finger foods.

“This event was a chance for us to connect with our donors, share the impact their support is making, and celebrate the future of the Vallarta Gay+ Community Center,” Lopez told supporters. “We look forward to building on this momentum and continuing to serve the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Vallarta.”

The next fundraising event for VGCC will be on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Casa Cupula. The “Coming-Out Dinner Party” will include a seated dinner, entertainment by drag queen Raukin, Alberto Cuevas, and other entertainers and hosted by Lalo. Tickets are $1,400 pesos and can be purchased here

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