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Holi​day with Heart Charity

44th Gayla Sunday December 5th 2021, Toledo Club

In Person Gayla Returns in 2021

The 2020 Holiday with Heart Gayla event was put on a years hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to say that the event will be back on in 2021.  The Toledo Club in downtown Toledo is booked for Sunday December 5th.  If there are still precautionary restrictions in place later in the year as reservations open (late October) that impact capacity issues, it will be announced later in the year. As Holiday with Heart was able to go forward with requesting financial support for the charitable obj​ectives, and picking beneficiaries for 2020 (in spite of not holding an event), we had a successful year. Continue to check the website for updates on 2020 success, and our ability to be back together in 2021.  Thank you for your continued support of HWH!


Equality Toledo Community Food Pantry Grant

Holiday with Heart is pleased to be able to direct support to ​necessary community food resources during this time of pandemic and economic strain. This summer HWH was able to direct $4,000 to support this effort.  Equality Toledo Community Pantry is a no barriers pantry dedicated to making sure that food-insecure people and their families have barrier-free options regardless of legal status, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Click on the Equality Toledo Food Pantry Image to link to their Facebook page and learn more!

Beneficiaries for 2020 Holiday with Heart

As part of our mission, Holiday with Heart is committed to administer the financial support necessary to further the missions of 501(c)(3) organizations that provide direct assistance to the local LGBT+ community. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the inability to hold the in-person event this year, the income into the charity will be significantly reduced.  That being said, generous supports are stepping forward to sponsor the 2020 charitable objectives, even without the formal Gayla event.  The Holiday with Heart Committee has received submissions for consideration, and are pleased to announce the three beneficiaries this year:  

The Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care at UTMC

The Holiday with Heart funds will move them closer to finishing the production of their film project as a documentary “HIV in the Rustbelt.” The film is intended to increase awareness about how HIV impacted our local Northwest Ohio Community.  They are working toward having this film production picked up by our local PBS station as well as submitting this work to national film festivals. They are also working on developing a teaching tool to go along with the documentary. To learn more about this project, click the UTMC logo to link to a UT news article about “HIV in the Rustbelt".

Toledo School for the Arts 

Toledo School for the Arts is a public “community” or charter school focused on providing a college preparatory academic curriculum and an intense visual and performing arts environment. TSA is located at 333 14th Street in downtown Toledo, Ohio. TSA nurtures two student organizations that focus on diversity, equity and inclusion. Holiday with Heart funds will go to furthering the work of Prism, a group for all students in grades 6-12 that is devoted to education and awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues. Through this student group’s advisor who is a LPSC (Licensed Professional School Counselor), students have access to professional expertise in counseling as a great benefit to students who may be wrestling with gender/identity/discrimination issues.

                                                                   Spectrum of Findlay

In 2016 LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay implemented monthly support groups. Since then the group has evolved and now meets three times per month and includes several sub-groups. The board saw a real need in the community for a youth specific support group that focuses primarily on youth aged 13-18yrs. This group has seen consistent increases in attendance from the trans and gender non-conforming population. Licensed professionals that are contracted by LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay facilitate all the groups. Holiday with Heart funds will go to moving forward with the support groups, increase local awareness by increasing marketing efforts, and continuing to collaborate with other local nonprofits.

Announcement of First Time HWH Sponsor First Energy 

A significant part of the success of Holiday with Heart’s 2020 charitable objectives was the generous Blue Level Sponsorship of FirstEnergy. Holiday with Heart is excited to announce this first time sponsorship. We are pleased to partner with FirstEnergy for the first time in their on-going commitment to community involvement. In the FirstEnergy 2020 Community Impact Report, Lorna Wisham, President, FirstEnergy Foundation speaks to this: “For more than a century, FirstEnergy and our predecessor companies have been committed to improving the quality of life where our customers and employees live and work. In support of this effort, the FirstEnergy Foundation invests in nonprofit organizations to enable positive, sustainable changes that strengthen the communities we serve. As part of our company-wide focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I), the Foundation also supports organizations and initiatives that serve diverse populations and promote an inclusive and sustainable future.” Thank You FirstEnergy, we look forward to working with you in your mission of community support!  Click on the logo image to visit their website.

First Sponsor of Charitable Objectives 2020 Buckeye Broadband     

Holiday with Heart is pleased to announce our first sponsor for 2020, with a return commitment from Buckeye Broadband.  During pandemic many of us are using broadband services at greater capacity.  We are so pleased to see this support come back to the community via our most significant sponsorship of a Blue Level partnering with HWH in LGBT support for the N.W. Ohio communities. Buckeye Broadband is NW Ohio/SE Michigan’s premier provider of broadband services.  As an organization regarded for high levels of customer service and community support, the Holiday with Heart Committee is pleased to welcome again Buckeye Broadband to our mission of supporting the LGBT communities locally. Click the logo to visit the website for Buckeye Broadband.

Equitas Health Care Welcomed as Return Sponsor for 2020

In this unusual time for Holiday with Heart, without a formal Gayla event this year, we appreciate the sponsors who are coming forward to continue the charitable objectives.  Returning as a Red Level sponsor for 2020, we are happy to have the support of Equitas Health. Equitas Health is a not-for-profit community-based healthcare system founded in 1984. Its expanded mission has made it one of the nation’s largest HIV, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations. This year it will serve more than 67,000 individuals in Ohio through its diverse healthcare and social service delivery system focused around: primary and specialized medical care, behavioral health, HIV/STI prevention, advocacy, and community health initiatives. With 13 offices in 10 Ohio cities (including Toledo at 3450 West Central Ave.), the support you’re looking for is right around the corner. Click on the logo to visit the Equitas Health website.

Fifth Third Bank Return Sponsor of Holiday with Heart

Years ago, It was a long term goal of the Holiday with Heart Charity to have a major banking institution step forward to support the mission of HWH. We are excited to have continued the relationship with Fifth Third, who were that first at the time, to sponsor the Gayla event.  Corporate social responsibility is a way of life at Fifth Third Bank. They are committed to actively engaging individuals and community groups to affect positive change for the betterment of all. Their motto “We live here, too” speaks to that commitment to improving lives in all the markets they serve. Fifth Third Bank happily provides banking and financial services to its LGBT customers, and looks forward to serving you. We are deeply appreciative of the sponsorship, and look forward to working with Fifth Third in our mutual objective to improve our community.Click the logo image to visit the website.

Gilead as Sponsor of 2020 Charitable Objectives

PrEP, an acronym from Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is the use of prescription drugs by people who do not have HIV/AIDS as a strategy for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. It is an optional treatment which may be taken by people who are HIV negative, but who have substantial, higher-than-average risk of contracting an HIV infection.  A drug used for PrEP is Truvada, which is the brand name of the Gilead Sciences drug combination of tenofovir/emtricitabine. The Centers for Disease Control says that "PrEP is a powerful HIV prevention tool. People who use PrEP must commit to taking the drug every day and seeing their health care provider for follow-up every 3 months."  This year Holiday with Heart is pleased to have Gilead Sciences as a Sponsor of our 2020 charitable objectives.

Sponsorship Announced for 2020  Huntington Bank

Holiday with Heart is pleased to welcome Huntington as a Green Level sponsor for 2020. Toledo, Ohio is the headquarters of Huntington. Huntington Bank has a long and distinguished history of supporting programs throughout Northwest Ohio that are designed to enrich the community. The breadth and depth of these efforts range from multi-million dollar programs aimed at the revitalization of major parts of the city, to the individual volunteer efforts of Huntington associates at all levels of the corporation. Goals have been set and solutions found to area problems. Huntington provides support in a variety of areas including economic development, health care, housing, education and the arts. Huntington Bank is proud to be an essential partner in Ohio. The leadership and the colleagues at the bank take this role seriously. These programs underscored the innovation that is a hallmark of Huntington’s efforts to support Northwest Ohio programs and nonprofits for the long-term.  Click the logo to visit the website.

Signature Bank Sponsors Support for LGBT Communities

Signature Bank at 4607 W. Sylvania Ave. in Toledo, was founded in 2002 as a locally owned and operated bank that focuses on the business, institutional, governmental and professional communities in Northwest Ohio. They are owned by approximately 500 local shareholders and governed by a local board of directors.  Their local decision making gives them the ability to provide custom solutions to clients. The “Gold Standard” service philosophy is supported by their clients’ opinions; 100% of Signature Bank clients consistently recommend their banking services to others.  Holiday with Heart is so pleased to announce Signature Bank as a Green Level Sponsor of the 2020 charitable objectives. This show of support for the local LGBT communities is greatly appreciated! Click the logo image to visit the website for Signature Bank.

Financial Advisor Dan Finkel Provides HWH Sponsorship

Dan Finkel has joined with other Holiday with Heart sponsors in recognition of the on-going charitable objectives during pandemic times.  Dan has been a member of Savage & Associates since 1999. He helps people build wealth by assisting with retirement savings. He helps protect that wealth with life, health and disability insurance. Then in retirement, he helps people manage their investments and distributions to make sure those assets provide a steady income as long as possible. Thank you Dan for your support of the NW Ohio LGBT communities. Click Dan's photo for link to his business contact information.

Mockensturm Ltd. Supporter of 2020 HWH Charitable Objectives

Mockensturm, Ltd. joined the historic levels of support for the 40th anniversary Gayla in 2017. Holiday with Heart is glad to have Mockensturm Ltd. continue this show of support to the local LGBT communities through return sponsorship this year. Event sponsorships help direct a greater portion of ticket sales to the charitable objectives. Mockensturm, Ltd: Attorney and CPA resolving your tax debt issues. Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to finding solutions to your legal problems. Big national companies advertise tax resolution services and toss out phrases like "pennies on the dollar",while failing to mention they are not lawyers and they are not local. At Mockensturm, Ltd, their firm is led by a dual professional who is both an attorney and a certified public accountant (CPA). They are located right here in Toledo, Ohio, and take a personal interest in resolving the tax issues and other legal problems facing individuals and businesses in Lucas County and the surrounding communities. HWH thanks Mockensturm, Ltd. for the sponsorship. Click the logo to visit their website.

North Star BlueScope Supports 2020 Holiday with Heart

In this unusual year without a formal event, North Star Blue Scope has step up to support Holiday with Heart charity. North Star Blue Scope is evolving the art of steel making. Their highly-skilled team uses a high-tech, 4-step process to turn raw materials into hot rolled bands for end use in various industries including automotive, construction, agriculture and general manufacturing applications. A community-focused culture, they’re not individuals performing separate jobs; they’re a community working to better an entire team. And like a family, they look out for each other and seek opportunities to be a good neighbor. With a community relations team dedicated to coordinating volunteer efforts, they are proud to support over 50 local and national organizations including Adopt a Highway Litter Control, the American Red Cross, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and Holiday with Heart. Click the logo to visit the website.

2020 Another Successful Year for Charitable Objectives

Thanks to all of our guests, sponsors, volunteers, and other supporters for the great outcome this year! In spite of the inability to hold the in-person Gayla event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Holiday with Heart Charity was able to distribute $18,400 from the 2020 efforts that included sponsorships, donations from HWH supporters via our 2020 mail campaign, and income derived from the HWH Fund at the Toledo Community Foundation.  The HWH Committee has determined how these funds will be distributed among the listed beneficiaries:

  • $5,000 - LGBTQ+ Spectrum of Findlay
  • $5,000 - The Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care at UTMC
  • $5,000 - Toledo School for the Arts
  • $3,400 - Holiday with Heart Fund Toledo Community Foundation

 Join Our E-Mail Mailing List

If you are interested in receiving the latest news, information, and updates from Holiday with Heart, join our new e-mail mailing list. Please send your e-mail address to Holiday with Heart committee at:                                                                       [email protected] 

2020 Event Sponsors: