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 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