The following is a press release
FRAMINGHAM – Local nonprofit organization OUT MetroWest honored Grace Moreno, executive director of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce, at this year’s Come Out & Celebrate event.
Moreno is a senior executive and mission-driven entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience leading state and national nonprofit organizations. The evening gala took place at The Verve – Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday, September 21.
The dinner event featured a keynote speech from Moreno, who focused her remarks on the importance of living an authentic life. Her speech drew a standing ovation from the crowd of 230 guests.
“Grace Moreno epitomizes the spirit and strength of the LGBTQ community,” states OUT MetroWest executive director Sawyer Bethel. “She has dedicated her career to pursuing justice for people of all backgrounds, and her work has consistently lifted up the LGBTQ+ community. Her Come Out & Celebrate speech was a gift to us all.”
In addition to Moreno’s speech, the evening featured remarks from OUT MetroWest participants and parents. Youth participant Jasmin Rotem, a 17-year-old from Newton, spoke about joining OUT MetroWest’s flagship program, WAGLY: “It was a space I could breathe, where I didn’t have to explain or defend. An LGBT place to be a kid.”
Proceeds from the event benefited all of OUT MetroWest’s programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) youth.
The event raised more than $100,000 to support these programs, thanks in part to sponsorships from organizations such as Converse, Eastern Bank, and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
OUT MetroWest runs four programs for LGBTQ middle and high school youth, totaling more than a dozen meetings each month. Meetings are educational, social, and supportive and are held in Framingham, Newton, and Wellesley. The organization also provides workshops in the community to enhance understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation.