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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 28, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 43
Purr 6th anniversary gala raises money for YSPP's OUTLoud
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Purr 6th anniversary gala raises money for YSPP's OUTLoud

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

On October 19, Purr Cocktail Lounge celebrated its six-year anniversary - in style - as a popular LGBT bar on the Hill. Celebrating six years of support and 'a lifetime of friendship,' Purr's owner, Barbie Humphrey, decided to donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program (YSPP), Washington state's youth suicide organization which houses the only statewide LGBTQ component, Heather Carter's OUTLoud program.

'I really feel that over the past few years, we have heard more about suicides within our community than we should in a lifetime,' Barbie told Seattle Gay News. 'So much of it stems from bullying and the feeling of not being accepted for who you are. There's a lot of depression and sadness that goes along with that. I was happy to donate money to an organization that is local and who had dedicated their focus on the LGBT community.'

Barbie said one of her employees lost a good friend recently, and Purr also lost an employee to suicide a few years back. 'It just seems appropriate to do this,' she said.

Purr donated all of the proceeds from their 'Shots of Hope' ice sculpture along with other donations totaling $1,000.

'There was such a great vibe going at the event,' Heather Carter, YSPP's OUTLoud program coordinator, told SGN. 'The staff were so handsome in their matching suits and they were all so nice and welcoming. Barbie is a great woman and I can tell she loves her bar and her employees!'

Heather said that Barbie's contribution to YSPP 'lets people know she cares about the community she serves.'

YSPP's OUTLoud is a great resource for educating folks about LGBTQ youth and bullying. 'We're a small organization trying to make positive social change right here in our own community.'

'I just sincerely want to thank all of our customers for their loyalty and support over the past six years,' said Barbie. 'It's a good feeling to have a place that brings people together. A place you can call home.'

Barbie says that, moving forward, 'you can always expect consistency from us, whether it's year two, four, six, or eight!'

'I'm very proud of my staff,' she continued. 'Making sure you are having a good time is my No. 1 priority!'

Barbie gives back locally to the community because 'it's amazing how everyone pulls together in times of need. Relying on each other is a powerful thing. This community has been there for me on both a personal and professional level over the last 15-plus years. I am proud to have a place that allows me to give back.'

'The past year of fundraising has been so amazing. I can't tell you how much it means to me and YSPP to have the recognition from our peers for the hard work we do,' said Heather. 'I want everyone to know that we are very thankful and every dollar is appreciated and spent right back in OUTLoud in support of LGBTQ youth.'

'I believe in celebrating life,' concluded Barbie. 'Our annual anniversary party is a way for us to celebrate and say thank you. We are fortunate to be here and to be such a vital part of our community. I am extremely grateful, and will continue to do our best to take care of each other.'

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