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With $10,000 Donation, Kaleidoscope Youth Center Secures Long Term Funding

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega With $10,000 Donation, Kaleidoscope Youth Center Secures Long Term Funding
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In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) has established the Kaleidoscope Youth Center Endowment Fund through the Columbus Foundation, making KYC the first LGBTQ-centered organization in the state to have an endowment fund.

It began with a generous $10,000 donation from Columbus philanthropist and performer Andrew Levitt, whose drag persona is Nina West. After receiving Levitt’s donation, KYC and the Columbus Foundation worked to create the KYC Endowment Fund in honor of the organization’s landmark anniversary. It’ll act as a long term funding stream to support programming and operations of KYC.

“We’re so excited to be celebrating 25 years of serving and supporting LGBTQIA+ young people in Ohio,” Executive Director Erin Upchurch, MSSA, LISW-S said in a press release. “As we were looking ahead, it was important for us to think about sustainability. This endowment fund allows us to plan long term, grow our assets, and continue doing the important work of serving our young people. We’re able to do that due to Andrew’s incredible generosity.” 

Levitt has been a longtime supporter of KYC and a philanthropist for the LGBTQ community. In 2015, he established the Nina West Fund, also through the Columbus Foundation, to support local nonprofits that provide services for the LGBTQ community, including KYC. With collections from each of his charity shows, the fund has since exceeded $2 million for local, state and national organizations.

“The role Kaleidoscope Youth Center plays in shaping the lives of our queer youth is vital to the health and success of our LGBTQIA community and the larger central Ohio community,” says Levitt. “The services KYC provides to families and, most importantly, these young people, saves lives every day. My goal is to help ensure that this organization continues to thrive, grow, and serve Columbus and the surrounding communities for many years to come.”

In recognition of his philanthropy, KYC has previously named a room at their drop-in center the “Virginia West and Nina West Performance Space.”

For more information, visit kycohio.org.

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