Metro Weekly

Brother, Help Thyself to hold annual grant awards ceremony on Feb. 2

$75,000 in grants to be awarded to 32 area organizations honoring their work in the LGBTQ and HIV communities

Ron Simmons (left), the former head of Us Helping Us, is honored with a special award at BHT’s Grant Reception at The DC Eagle in 2017 — Photo: John Riley

Brother, Help Thyself, the local organization that provides funding to LGBTQ and HIV-related nonprofits, will dole out more than $75,000 to worthy causes at its annual grant awards ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 2.

The event, nicknamed “A Dressier Affair,” will be held at the historic Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. At the event, BHT will present 32 local nonprofits with checks of varying amounts from one of three funds.

Grants from the Richard Van Der Karr Memorial HIV/AIDS Fund are used to benefit programs related to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and education.

Grants from the Medford Fund are those earmarked for the purchase of tangible capital goods that are used in conjunction with delivering services to LGBTQ or HIV/AIDS communities.

Lastly, grants from BHT’s General Fund are given to nonprofits that provide athletic, cultural, educational, historic, or social programs that benefit the LGBTQ community.

In addition to the regular grant funding, BHT will also present two youth-serving area organizations with non-grant awards of $2,500 each from the organization’s Billy McCoy Thompson, Jr. Memorial Fund, which was recently established by Billy’s sisters, Jackie and Traci Thompson, in honor of their brother.

Since its founding in 1978, BHT has awarded 1,098 grants totaling over $3.1 million to 194 various nonprofits based in the D.C.-Baltimore region. Past recipients have included Casa Ruby, HIPS, Inc., Black, Gifted & Whole, Inc., and Mary’s House for Older Adults.

“The culmination of our work each year brings us to this day when we gather our grantees, friends, and supporters to present not just checks, but to assemble everyone in one room to celebrate themselves individually and our greater community collectively,” BHT President Andrew McCarty said in a statement. “This year, that room I talked about is much more elegant than in years past, so that we can honor or history and look ahead to our future in a beautiful setting in the heart of Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon gayborhood.”

BHT’s annual grant awards ceremony, “A Dressier Affair,” is on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 7-10 p.m. at the Belvedere Hotel, 1 E. Chase St., Baltimore, Md. Attire is semi-formal, described as “Dress to Impress.” For more information, visit

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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