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Jazz N' July with Affinity
by Kennette Crockett

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Chicago's West Loop was jumping with the smooth sounds of live jazz on a beautiful Saturday night as Affinity hosted its 3rd Annual Jazz N' July Benefit last weekend.

Affinity, a seven-year-old a South Side organization, serves lesbians and lesbigay youth of African American decent through a combination of educational, social and community collaborations. CLTV host LeeAnn Trotter served as mistress of ceremonies for the evening celebration, which honored community service among Chicago's LGBT community. Trotter expressed her enjoyment at being asked to host an event that she is all too glad to support its efforts. Trotter is also lending her support to raise money for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Amigas Latinas won this year's Affinity Legacy Award. Amigas Latinas, an eight-year-old nonprofit, provides support and advocacy service for lesbian and bisexual women of Latina heritage. Affinity also honored its founding member and Board President Christina Smith. Affinity's Board and Staff members include Gaylon Roberson, Vice President; Alicia Matthews, Ph.D., Secretary; Diantha Watkins, Treasurer; Deborah Benford, Daphne Glanton, Flecia Thomas, Cassandra Dorsey, Barbara Smith, Thelma Taylor, and Catina Lowery, Program Associate.

The event, which featured live jazz performances by Zzage, had more than 200 supporters in attendance. Attendees mingled and danced the night away while raising money to support a much-needed organization. The crowd included many well-known community faces. In attendance were Sheron Webb, Lora Branch, C.C. Carter, Vernita Gray, Marguerite Griffin, Pat McCombs, Heather Beck, Ann M. Rowell, and many more.

The event was a mixture of formal and informal; guests mingled and danced and had the opportunity to take part in a silent auction. Silent auction contributors included About Face Theatre, Ann Sather's, Dixie Kitchen, LCCP, Lipstick & Lace, Thousand Waves, Women Make Movies, Hotel Allegro, Sidetrack, ULOAH SISTAHfest and a host of other businesses and individuals donating original artwork, gifts and other items.

For more information on joining, upcoming events or contributing to Affinity call (773) 324-0377 or .

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