Dining at the Mansions

Dinner party event at Old Louisville’s historic mansions benefits UofL’s LGBT Center.

As told by Brian Buford, executive director of UofL’s LGBT Center

What to Expect

We are so excited this year that every mansion participating will have the services of a professional chef to prepare the meal of a lifetime, which gives the host a little breathing room to be present with their guests and share their amazing homes with them. I think the magic of this event is that it’s the marriage of an incredible idea with a very important cause. That’s why we decided not to charge a fee to participate and instead to just tell guests the story of the LGBT Center and let them decide how they want to support it. There is a fun spirit of competition among the houses to see who can raise the most money, and we will have student volunteers at each home to assist the guests in using our online giving pages to register their donation. Those students will also be sharing more about what the LGBT Center means to them so that guests can really make the connection to how their gifts will help. People can check out the giving sites and even make gifts now if they want by visiting elevate.louisville.edu/g/lgbt.

What’s on the Menu

I have loved watching the homeowners and their chefs come up with a vision for their meal and develop a menu that creates a really unique and special experience at each home. At one home, they are recreating some of the homeowner’s favorite childhood memories of Sunday afternoon dinners at his grandmother’s house. At another, they are focusing on a shared love of ’60s rock and the peace movement. One chef just published a cookbook and she’ll be cooking recipes from it. How incredible is that? We were really lucky to secure chefs from Louvino, Butchertown Grocery, Proof and others.

Why It Matters

All the funds raised go directly to support LGBT students at UofL and the programs and services that the center oversees. That includes five LGBT-themed scholarships, a themed housing community where LGBT students and allies can live together and study social justice, a first-in-the-nation medical school curriculum that is teaching future physicians to be LGBT-competent and inclusive and crisis intervention for students when they lose family support for being LGBT. We really rely on the support of our surrounding community, and it’s working. UofL has been named one of the most LGBT-friendly schools for the last three years by Campus Pride!

Who It helps

I always say that we serve 22,000 students because we are a resource to every single student at UofL, plus our 6,000 faculty and staff. Being a welcoming community means everyone is part of that commitment and is working to create a safe and inclusive campus. We train people as allies and celebrate it whenever they show up for LGBT students. In recent years, we’ve started creating high school visits so that our LGBT high school folks can see that they have an inclusive place to go when they head to college. Finally, we have created a network for LGBT alumni so that they can stay engaged and give back to the new generation of students. We have a BIG vision for what we can do and it continues to grow.

How to Attend Next Year

If people didn’t get a seat this year, they can stay informed and get the early notice for next year by liking our Facebook group. If they still want to show their support for the LGBT Center, they can give a gift by visiting our website, www.louisville.edu/lgbt and clicking the tab labeled, “Show Your Support.” VT

By the Numbers:

Participating Chefs: 6, plus assistants

Total Seats Filled: 85

Seats remaining: 0 (Yay!)

Funds raised in 2017: $18,000

Dining at the Mansions

6 p.m. April 14

Old Louisville