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REACH LA Celebrates 2nd Annual Gala

Comedic Legend Kim Coles Hosts REACH LA's 2nd Annual Gala

Chiquis honored with the Creative Arts Allyship Award

Comedy Legend and Community Ally Kim Coles To Host; Chiquis, JaQuel Knight and More To Receive Awards

providing crucial mental health services and empowering LBTQIA+ people through creative arts programs are not just objectives; they are indispensable resources.”
— Stephen Morales, Board President of REACH LA
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, February 22, 2024 / -- On February 24th, REACH LA, a leading nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth of color, is set to host its second annual celebration gala at Vibiana in Downtown, Los Angeles at 7:00 PM. The event, organized by REACH LA's Board of Directors and hosted by comedic legend Kim Coles, will celebrate over 30 years of impactful service while raising funds for the organization's vital Creative Arts and Mental Health Programs.

The gala promises a night of celebration, unity, and recognition for REACH LA's remarkable contributions to the LGBTQIA+ community. Attendees can expect live performances, inspiring speeches, a silent auction, and a delectable dinner, all while honoring outstanding individuals for their community contributions.

This year, REACH LA aims to raise $500,000 to directly fund its Creative Arts and Mental Health programs, ensuring the continuation of the organization’s complimentary essential mental health services, including counseling, support groups, and crisis intervention, which play a crucial role in addressing the unique mental health challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ youth of color. Simultaneously, the funds will support creative arts initiatives such as music, dance, and visual arts, promoting self-expression, empowerment, and community building, thereby empowering program participants to explore their creativity and develop invaluable life skills in a safe and inclusive environment for healing and growth.

"As we prepare for the gala, we want to stress how inspiring and essential the support from our community is to the success of our organization and its fundraising efforts,” said Stephen Morales, Board President of REACH LA. “Together with fellow board members and dedicated staff, we are deeply committed to sustaining our mission–as providing crucial mental health services and empowering LGBTQIA+ people through creative arts programs are not just objectives; they are indispensable resources. These initiatives serve as lifelines and pathways to self-discovery, resilience, and personal growth for the youth we serve.”

Honorees at the gala include:
— Creative Arts Allyship Award: Two-time Latin Grammy winner and Grammy Nominee, Chiquis
— Legendary Artistic Impact Award: JaQuel Knight (award-winning choreographer best known for creating Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Meg the Stallion's "WAP" and more)
— Community Ally Award: Angel Ortiz from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
— Community Partnership Award: HIV Vaccine Trials Network
— Pillar of Excellence Award: Bamby Salcedo, CEO of Trans Latina Coalition
— Dr. Stephaun E. Wallace Legacy of Hope Award: Dr. Stephaun Wallace (In Loving Memory)
— Public Health Champion: Dr. James Simmons (@AskTheNP)

The evening's host, renowned comedy legend and community ally, Kim Coles (who is highly celebrated for her iconic roles in 'In Living Color' and 'In Living Single'), promises to fill the gala with not just laughter and entertainment but also heartfelt encouragement for the community. The night will also include spirited performances by local artist and Board Member, Epiphany Kali Mattel.

REACH LA’s 2nd Annual Celebration Gala will begin at 7:00 PM at Vibiana. Tickets for the gala are priced at $200 per person or $2,500 for a table of 8, and are available for purchase on the REACH LA website. For more information about REACH LA or its annual gala, please visit

REACH LA is a Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to empowering LGBTQIA youth of color through essential mental health and creative arts services. With a multifaceted approach encompassing HIV prevention education, testing, linkage to care, and support services for both HIV-positive and high-risk negative youth, REACH LA builds a safe and inclusive environment. Learn more about REACH LA's impactful initiatives at

T-Aira Jelks
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