- Health, Wellness & Sports
- Equality Directory
(Editor's note: Because of the principles of alcohol and drug recovery programs, some individuals quoted in this article will only be referred to by their first name and last initial.)
SAN DIEGO – At its annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser Sunday night, the Gay Men’s Spiritual Retreat (GMSR) presented Stepping Stone of San Diego with its top honor, the Brandon Gray Community Service Award.
Citing Stepping Stone’s service to community members in need of alcohol and drug addicion treatment, Christopher W., president of GMSR, said that Stepping Stone has “greatly impacted the community.”
John deMiranda, executive director of Stepping Stone, said that his organization is pleased by the honor.
“On behalf of the board of directors, volunteers and staff of Stepping Stone, we are honored to receive this award,” deMiranda said. “Despite the challenges of operating in the current economic climate, we keep assisting people into recovery day in and day out. The Stepping Stone team is the best group of committed professionals that I have ever worked with and I am continuously impressed with their grace under pressure.”
Since 1976, Stepping Stone has provided services related to alcohol and drug addiction to individuals in need, with a focus on the LGBT community. Often, clients of Stepping Stone have other medical and psychiatric conditions that interact with and impact their addiction.
Stepping Stone operates a state of the art 31-bed residential treatment facility in City Heights, along with a number of other support services.
GMSR was founded 20-years ago by Brandon Gray and Dave S.
At the organization’s festive fundraiser held in The San Diego LGBT Community Center's auditorium, Dave S., who serves as a director emeritus on GMSR’s board of directors, spoke to the crowd about Gray’s recognition of the need for such a gathering.
GMSR sponsors an annual retreat and related activities for gay men to examine and improve their spirituality in a manner that seems best to them.
Spirituality, GMSR says, is the sum of the non-physical attributes that define how a person lives his life.
Local entertainer Bunny Baxter co-emceed the event and told the crowd that the spaghetti dinner is the organization’s only fundraiser of the year, encouraging the crowd to give big to support the annual retreat, held in June.
While totals from the fundraiser are not yet available, competitive bidding took place during the dessert auction portion of the event.
A plate of 15 cherry-topped brownies sold for $3,500, and the “Busted Bustier Cake” sold for $1,000.
The organization’s 2012 retreat will be held June 8-10 at Camp Stevens in Julian, Calif.
For more information about GMSR, click HERE.
Left photo: The plate of brownies that was auctioned off for $3,500.