The Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League's (SMYAL) 11th Annual Fall Brunch, the organization's main fundraiser, is scheduled to kick off with a silent auction at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 28, at the Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW. The seated brunch program follows at 12:30 p.m.
This year, organizers say they are expecting about 500 attendees and have invited Jorge Valencia, executive director and CEO of the Point Foundation national GLBT scholarship fund, and former president of the Trevor Project, to deliver the keynote address.
''As an openly gay man who grew up in a Mormon, Latino family in Texas, Jorge brings with him a keen personal awareness of many of the issues of rejection and marginalization faced by many LGBT youth,'' states a SMYAL release.
Other guests include Sally Baird, the first out lesbian elected to office in Virginia following her 2006 bid for a seat on the Arlington County School Board, on which she currently serves as vice chair.
SMYAL's annual fall brunch raises money to help operate the organization's Youth Center, among other efforts. The silent auction usually features the artwork of local artists, tickets to local theaters, gift certificates to restaurants, gym memberships and getaway packages. Last year SMYAL raised about $115,000.
Tickets for SMYAL's Fall Brunch cost $125; visit www.smyal.org.