Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL), a support group for LGBT and questioning youth in the D.C. area, will bring together more than 200 youth and allied professionals to celebrate its second annual ''SMYAL for the Holidays'' event Thursday, Dec. 12.
Organized by SMYAL's volunteer Young Donors Committee, the fundraiser benefits SMYAL and helps the organization expand its work to reach more youth. During its first 18 months since being launched in the summer of 2012, the Young Donors Committee has helped raise more than $16,000 from 800 individual donors.
''It's always wonderful this time of year to help bring SMYAL, our mission, and our work to more people,'' Andrew Barnett, the group's executive director, said in a statement. ''Following our most successful Fall Brunch ever, it's great to see growing excitement for what we do among young professionals in the city.''
In June, the Young Donors Committee helped launch SMYAL Allies, a group of young professionals – many of whom also identify as LGBT – who support SMYAL's work and support the organization through personal donations.
''SMYAL Allies has been an exciting new way for young professionals to engage with and learn more about SMYAL,'' Billy Fettweis, chair of the Young Donors Committee and member of SMYAL's board of directors, said in a statement. ''The group also provides opportunities to build new social connections through social events and volunteer opportunities.''
This year's ''SMYAL for the Holidays'' celebration will be held at Local 16, at 1602 U St. NW, Thursday, Dec. 12, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $15 in advance, $25 at the door. 21 and older, only. For more information, call 202-546-5940 or visit smyalholidays.eventbrite.com.