An Open Letter from Out Astoria’s Co-founders

November 4, 2010

Dear Friends,

It has been an amazing year of progress for Out Astoria, one in which we have added new events, officially incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, branched out into community service, and, as of today, relaunched our Web site.

When the two of us put together the first Astoria gay men’s dinner in February 2006, little did we expect that group to expand so quickly and morph into Out Astoria. With a growing mailing list of more than 900 people, we are now much more than a monthly dinner party. Out Astoria organizes the LGBT community in Astoria/Long Island City, providing our members with a way to get to know each other and support our community. We identify LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses in our neighborhood and forge partnerships with their owners to plan events for the gay and lesbian community. We also provide a forum for our members to connect with others to improve our neighborhoods for all residents. We collaborate with elected officials, nonprofits, and volunteer groups to help keep the LGBT community involved and visible. And starting in 2011, we’re proud to announce that the entire steering committee will be elected by and represent the growing and diverse membership of Out Astoria.

So that Out Astoria may continue to grow and thrive, we want to give all our LGBT neighbors a stronger voice in the group. We’re writing you today to announce new sponsor membership in Out Astoria. Sponsor members will be able to vote—and run!—in January’s elections for Out Astoria’s steering committee. They will also receive membership discounts at the door to Out Astoria events, and eventually other discounts with Out Astoria partners. Sponsor membership is limited to those who reside in zip codes 11101, 11102, 11103, 11104, 11105, or 11106 and pay $10 in annual membership dues.  These dues fund Out Astoria’s events and activities, including philanthropic and community outreach efforts.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support over these past five years in helping Out Astoria grow into something unique and special in our community. We encourage you to go to OutAstoria.com today and enroll as a sponsor member. Our events will remain open to all who wish to attend, but Out Astoria needs a strong number of active, dues-paying members in order to fulfill its promise as a vibrant organization. And look forward to an announcement in a few weeks on the upcoming board elections.

We would also like to thank and acknowledge the work of Out Astoria’s membership outreach chair, John Paul Detty, and his subcommittee in helping to develop the sponsor membership program, as well as Out Astoria’s Secretary, Jonathan Blue, in managing the technical aspects of membership enrollment.

With best wishes,

Dirk McCall                                                    Brent Gallenberger

Co-founder of Out Astoria                           Co-founder, Acting President of Out Astoria

Out Astoria February 2010 Newsletter

Upcoming Out Astoria Events and News

A Note from Out Astoria President Dirk McCall

In the last few months, Out Astoria has undergone some significant re-organization and we want to keep you posted and invite your increased participation and input.

First, we have elected a new board – Out Astoria Co-founders Dirk McCall and Brent Gallenberger have been elected President and Vice President respectively. Joining them on the Executive Committee are Paul Nichols as Secretary and Courtney Joseph as Treasurer. Rounding out the board are five committee chairs and three at-large board members, Michael Mallon as Business Outreach Chair, Michael Murphy as Events Chair, John Paul Detty as Membership Chair and Chap James Day as Communications Chair with Sean Leous, Jesse Normand and Jonathan Blue as at large members.

We are meeting regularly as a board to overhaul our event programming, have unveiled our new logo (designed by our very own Michael Murphy) and will be launching our new website later this Spring.

We will be moving over to a membership based organization in early May with a discount program and other offers for members, as well as instituting membership voting on board positions. We welcome people to step forward to serve on committees and give us feedback.

Our first game night held on February 21, was a huge success and our mentor-ship program will be launched in April. We are holding our first wine-tasting next month and are scheduling a bowling night for May. We hope you will get involved and help spread the word – Out Astoria means community and it will become what our membership puts into it. Help us thrive!

–Dirk McCall, President

Brunch at Locale Cafe & Bar, Sunday, 28 Feb, 1:30pm – 33-02 34th AveLocale’s Website (Music)

Bid a fond (or not-so-fond) farewell to February with every gay’s favorite Sunday pastime: brunch! The Out Astoria Monthly Brunch is going back to Locale Café this month.

RSVP on Facebook

Out Astoria marches in St Pats For All Parade, Sunday 7 Mar, 1pm – Skillman Ave and 43rd St St Pat’s For All Website

If you didn’t know, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Manhattan excludes GLBT folks from participating in their parade. In reaction to this hatred, Out Astoria’s own Brendan Fay started up St Pat’s For All as an alternative inclusive parade in 2000. Out Astoria has marched in this parade in the last two years, and will be doing so again this year. A Facebook Invitation will be forthcoming shortly.

If you are interested in marching, please email us at info@outastoria.com

March Dinner at El Sitio de Astoria, Wednesday 10 Mar, 7pm – 35-55 31st Street Yelp Page for El Sitio

If you like Cuban food, have we got a treat for you! El Sitio has great portions, great prices, and some of the best Cuban food in Astoria. Come to this, and you’ll be in for a real treat. Be sure to RSVP on Facebook when the invitation goes out.

March Mixer at Sissy McGinty’s with Why Leave Astoria, Friday 19 Mar, 8pm-11pm – 25-67 Steinway Street Sissy McGinty’s Website (Music)

For the Luck of the Irish, we’re joining Why Leave Astoria at Sissy McGinty’s. Sissy’s is a favorite of many of the Out Astoria folks who call this place their regular hang out. We are also very happy to be joining with Why Leave Astoria folks. Look forward to the Invitation through Facebook in the coming weeks with details about the specials!

March Brunch at Mundo Cafe, 28 Mar, 1:30pm – 31-18 Broadway (Ent on 32nd St) Mundo’s Website (Music)

Out Astoria returns to one of the hottest gay owned places for brunch, featuring Turkish and Argentinian Food. People swear by their Red Sonja lentil appetizers! This is a real treat. Mundo is one place you will find great food that will have you coming back again and again. Look forward to a Facebook invitation as the time nears.

Other Notices of Interest

WLA Lost in Astoria, 23 Feb, 8pm – Studio Square, 35-33 36th St

Hey LOST fans! Our friends at Why Leave Astoria?! are hosting their weekly Lost in Astoria Party at Studio Square tomorrow night. There’ll be drink specials, a Lost trivia contest, and more!

RSVP via Facebook Here

St Pat’s For All Concert, 2 Mar, 6pm – Irish Arts Center 553 W 51st St NY NY

Reception & food from 6pm
Concert at 7pm

Poetry, dance, song, jigs, reels- raffles! Malachy McCourt, Keltic Dream dancers, Niall O Leary school of dance, Haitian Percussionist band, Michael Patrick McDonald, from Ireland – Brian Fleming & Gwen Frinn, Kenny Lockwood…

Info: Brendan 718-721-2780 or Kathleen 718-898-8140
Limited number of seats! (100)

For tickets ($50 donation) “More if you can-less if you can’t”
contact:
info@stpatsforall.com
make checks out to : ST PAT’S FOR ALL
mark memo: CONCERT
send to St Pat’s For All 22-22 28th Street, Astoria, NY 11105

On Facebook Here

Envisioning a Greener Western Queens – Astoria, 27 Mar, 9:30am-4:00pm – Greater Astoria Historical Society, 35-20 Broadway, Quinn Building, 4th Fl

Come for a lively day of visioning for a more sustainable and green future in Sunnyside, Astoria, Woodside & Long Island City — Help guide funding that will be used for tree planting and other environmental projects in Western Queens communities affected by the info@northstarfund.org or 212-620-9110.

Who Should Attend: Residents of the areas affected by the 2006 Con Edison power outages: Astoria, Sunnyside, Long Island City, and Woodside.

Background: Following the July 2006 Con Edison power outage, Western Queens Power for the People organized residents of Western Queens to hold Con Edison accountable for the effects of the outage. This organizing helped bring about a $63 million dollar joint proposal that prevented Con Edison from passing on the cost of the power outage to consumers and required Con Edison to reimburse people who lost power. About $7.9 million will be used for tree planting and other greening projects in the affected neighborhoods over the next three years. North Star Fund is the Project Administrator, and is working with Western Queens Power for the People to ensure effective, strategic and timely grants for a greener Western Queens.

Western Queens Power for the People
North Star Fund