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New Home for The LGBT Center of the Desert

December 16th, 2014

          The Ocotillo Club is a group of LGBT Center of the Desert members (The Center) who pledge at least $1,200 annually (or $100 monthly) to support the financial operating needs of the organization. The Club has quarterly brunch gatherings in the homes of club members. Last Sunday’s annual Ocotillo Club holiday gathering was held again in the beautiful home of Mssrs David Hood & George Sellers. I attended along with my friend Andrea who accompanied me as my guest.

           The tasty brunch was catered by LuLu California Bistro and it was very good. Creative beverages were continuously available. I’m primarily a vegetarian so the olive, lemon and celery in my Bloody Mary(s) satisfied my brunch needs until the real thing was ready for consumption. Despite pleas from the staff that we return to the brunch line for “seconds”, most had fully satisfied appetites and were unable to honor the request.

          The news report about The Center was delivered by Executive Director Mike Thompson who sprang the event’s biggest surprise. Last year it appeared The Center would be moving to a new building on South Calle Encilia. The surprise was that an entirely different location had been selected and purchase has been made possible through the generous support of two Ocotillo Club members. The new location’s address remains secret to protect the privacy of existing tenants, however, a move to the new building is planned for 2015. The location reportedly is a 10,000 sq ft building which more than triples the approximately 3,500 sq ft in the present facility. Since the need for more space is one of the most significant deterrents to The Center’s growth, the future for a larger organization now seems assured.

The Ocotillo Club Membership List 2014-12-15

The Ocotillo Club Membership List (Click for larger view)

          The Ocotillo Club, now in its second year, it’s approaching 100 members and still growing.

          In my opinion, and one shared by many others, the success of The Center, where similar efforts in the past have faltered, belongs to board chairman Randolph Lowe. He’s the one with the vision, drive and determination to make the organization truly representative and a service of and to the entire Coachella Valley LGBT community. A current focus is an expanded outreach to the LGBT women’s community so that The Center fulfills its mission as an inclusive full-service organization. As for the future, Randy’s selections of board members reflects his approach to management and outreach. Although his role is not secretive, he’s not one seeking limelight so his guiding role is often unnoticed. Nevertheless, with Randy at the helm the continued growth and success of The Center appears assured.

Bond Shands
December 14, 2014

[TNR12]

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