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Presenting Sponsor and Awardees for 2021 Safe Homes Gala

March 2021

Open Sky Community Services has announced that the Gala and People of Courage Awards in support of Safe Homes will be held virtually on Friday, April 9, 2021 from 6-7pm.

Safe Homes is an Open Sky program providing a Drop-in Center and peer-led services and supports for LGBTQIA+ youth ages 14-23 in Central Massachusetts. Safe Homes offers leadership development, educational and social programming, connections to resources and mental health counseling at no cost to participants. The program is supported in part by grants from The United Way of Central Massachusetts, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and others.

According to Ken Bates, President and CEO at Open Sky, the isolation and uncertainty of the past year has had a profound effect on LGBTQIA+ youth. “I am pleased to say that throughout the pandemic, Safe Homes has supported youth through virtual drop-ins, food deliveries, connections to community resources and free counseling”.

The Safe Homes Gala will include an online silent auction, fund-a-need, messages from celebrities, special guests, and the presentation of the People of Courage Awards and the Safe Homes Partnership Awards. The Hanover Insurance Group Foundation is the Presenting Sponsor for the event.

 “Safe Homes plays a critical role in helping youth feel nurtured and validated in all aspects of their identities,” said Kimberly Salmon, assistant vice president, community relations at The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. “We’re proud to partner with Safe Homes as it works to provide important support services and a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth in our community and their allies.”

Other leadership sponsors include 401kQuote.com, Arbor Associates, Fallon Health and Revelation Productions.

There are a variety of ticket options available including a free registration option. 

People of Courage Award Recipients:

Public Service Award

Sharon McQueen

Young Adult Award

Adam Stone

Corporate Award

Unum Group

Educator and Influencer Award

Dr. Angela Sheble

Social Justice Advocacy and Action Award

Redemption Rock Brewery Co.

Safe Homes Partnership Award Recipients:

Ginkgo Bioworks


Worcester Together: A partnership of Greater Worcester Community Foundation and United Way of Central Mass.




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