RISE Brunch

Rochester Initiative for Scholarship and Education

2017 RISE Brunch

Sunday, September 24th


Rochester Yacht Club

5555 St Paul Boulevard 14617

The RISE Brunch honors local Rochester LGBTQ Community Leaders while serving as the primary fund-raiser supporting the Rochester LGBTQ Scholarship Fund and the Out Alliance Youth and Leadership Development Programs.

Rochester Initiative for Scholarship and Education

As the needs of young LGBTQ people change in a more safe and accepting world, one constant will be the need for leadership development and academic opportunity. As the Out Alliance examines how best to serve our youth in the future, the idea of providing scholarships that are bolstered by leadership conferences, mentoring programs, internships and opportunities for community service has emerged as the most effective model for building the next generation of LGBTQ leaders.

RISE (the Rochester Initiative for Scholarship and Education) is a group of local Rochester visionaries and volunteers who are invested in the creation of a local leadership and scholarship program to foster the emergence of tomorrow’s LGBTQ leaders. Under the Out Alliance umbrella, this program will serve as a vital element in the services that the Alliance can provide.

Once again this year RISE will host an annual brunch fundraiser, open to the public, the proceeds of which will be split between direct “flow-through” scholarships, monies going into the endowment for the Rochester LGBTQ Scholarship Fund which is housed at the Rochester Area community Foundation and funds to be used for the Out Alliance leadership programs.

If you have an interest in being part of this ambitious project please contact rise@outalliance.org or call (585) 244-8640. Everyone is welcome.

The RISE Brunch is an annual event dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the community leaders of today and tomorrow who have enriched, empowered and inspired the LGBTQ presence in Rochester.

Additionally the Brunch is the primary fundraising source for Out Alliance initiatives in support of future local LGBTQ leaders, offering scholarships for post-secondary students receiving an education locally. Funds may also used to provide opportunities for internships, leadership training and community service experience. Investment in tomorrow’s LGBTQ leaders demands that we “give local to thrive local”.

2017 RISE Brunch

Sunday, September 24th


Rochester Yacht Club

5555 St. Paul Blvd 14617

Tickets: $50, all tickets will be held at the door

Enjoy brunch and a complimentary mimosa or bloody mary while savoring the nautical charm of the Rochester Yacht Club. Anticipate a light-hearted program with an inspirational message as we highlight some of Rochester’s emerging young LGBTQ leaders. Help our LGBTQ youth to flourish!

About the Rochester Yacht Club:

The Rochester Yacht Club was founded in 1877. The club has a distinguished history of yacht racing and boating and is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the United States. Well known for their outstanding service and incredible food, the waterside atmosphere of the RYC venue makes this Brunch a truly special event.

**Please be aware that many Map and GPS systems have trouble with this address- you should stay on St Paul BLVD and wrap along the lake shore the Yacht Club is at the very end.

The 2017 RISE Community Leadership Award will be presented at the brunch. Check back soon for an update.

The 2016 RISE Community Leadership Award was presented to …

The 2015 RISE Youth Leadership Award was presented to Lauren Laroche, a graduating senior from Rush Henrietta High School, in recognition of her deep commitment to advancing the visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ students. Some young people show early in life that they are destined to change the world around themselves for the better. Clearly Lauren embodies the qualities that mark an outstanding youth leader. While a senior at Rush Henrietta, Lauren was senior student officer for her GSA and a youth representative on the Rochester LGBTQ Youth Community Council facilitated by Trillium Health. Her commitment and “can do” attitude inspired the solid growth of the GSA and for the first time they marched in the Pride Parade. She created a safe and welcoming place for others, always ready to support and advocate.

The following community members serve on our 2017 RISE Brunch Committee:

W. Bruce Gorman – Chair
Emily Jones
Evelyn Bailey
BJ Scanlon
Chris Sardella
Lori Banning
Josh Stapf
Sady Fischer
Shirley Bowen (ad hoc)
Anne Tischer (ad hoc)

Rochester LGBTQ, Susan A. Cowell, & James R. Moran Scholarships

The Rochester LGBTQ Scholarship Funds were created in 2015 by the Out Alliance of the Genesee Valley as a way for individuals and organizations to support LGBTQ community members pursuing post secondary education. The goal is to provide scholarships each year to LGBTQ identified people. In addition to the Rochester LGBTQ Scholarship, individuals or Organizations may establish named scholarship funds within the Rochester LGBTQ Scholarship Funds. For more information on establishing a named fund contact the Rochester Area Community Foundation.

The Susan A. Cowell Scholarship was the first named scholarship established as a part of the Rochester LGBTQ Scholarship Funds. This scholarship was created in 2015 by members of the Rochester LGBTQ community in recognition and gratitude for Susan A. Cowell’s 38 years of political, economic, and social activism in support of the Rochester LGBTQ community. Susan’s unparalleled contributions and achievements during the AIDS crisis, in politics, in business, in the arts, as a social activist and as a medical provider have made a lasting difference in the lives of so many. Past and present, Susan stands as a passionate, caring woman who embraces change and continues to create a more just, equitable and welcoming community for all – locally, statewide and nationally. It is hoped that this scholarship will foster leadership skills in those who will build “on the shoulders of a giant”, Susan Cowell.

The James R. Moran Scholarship was established in 2016 by LGBTQ advocate and retired school teacher James Moran to support and cultivate future LGBTQ leaders. The 2017 RISE Brunch will be the inaugural year for this scholarship to be awarded. 

Purpose of Scholarship: To assist students who are LGBTQ identified or in pursuit of post secondary education in fields aligned with public health policy, non-profit administration or social justice activism, including social activism through the arts.

Number and Size of Awards: One or more awards; minimum award of $1000.

Allowed Use of Award: Awards may be used for tuition, fees, books and other expenses associated with higher education.


2016 RISE Sponsors include:

RISE Champions
James Moran
Excellus BCBS
Peter Mohr, Bob Ulliman, Debi & Bill Jones
Anson Edwards

Gold Sponsor
Nannette P. Nocon
John Roth & Jeana Bonacci-Roth
Trillium Health

Silver Sponsors
John Altieri
Pamela & Suzanne Barres
Shirley Bowen & Tracy Perkins
Steven A. Jarose & Marvin E. Ritzenthaler
Emily Jones & Deborah Hughes
Dr. Bruce C. Woolley

Bronze Sponsors
Evelyn V. Bailey
Jason and Bill Barnecut-Kearns
Paul D. Birkby
Kim Braithwaite
Ralph Carter and Van Van Zanten
Carol & Dana Ebersole[Weiss
Dr. W. Bruce Gorman
Jeffrey Lambert
Wilfred “Whitey” LeBlanc
Marta Malezke & Susan Cowell
Jennifer Mathews
Jeff Myers
William J. O’Connor Jr.
Pride at Work AFL-CIO Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter
Colleen Raimond, Esq. and Dr. Lisa Cunningham
Andreas M. Rau
Rochester Victory Alliance
Suny Geneseo
Bess Watts & Anne Tischer
Lynn Wickes & Pat Houlihan
David Zona

Contact Information:
RISE Brunch
c/o Out Alliance
100 College Avenue #100
Rochester, NY 14607