PORTLAND – The Equity Fund of the Maine Community Foundation recently announced $18,000 in grants to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender programs in Maine.

Grants went to the following projects:

Community Counseling Center, Portland, for the SpeakOut Project and its work in rural Maine

Eastern Maine AIDS Network, Bangor, to fund a young adult group modeled after the SAFER program to provide a safe place to affirm gender and sexuality

Equality Maine Foundation, Portland, to conduct an educational campaign for marriage equality in Maine

Make Beautiful Tribe, Penobscot, for the 2007 “Guys Like Us” young gay men’s retreat

Northern Lambda Nord, Blaine, for the revitalization of the organization

Outright/Lewiston-Auburn, Auburn, to create a “Dream Team” of community members to generate community visibility and ongoing financial support

Penobscot Theatre Co., Bangor, to present award-winning play “I Am My Own Wife” and to tour production to other venues in northern and eastern Maine

The mission of the Equity Fund is to strengthen GLBT organizations in Maine and promote community-based initiatives that address issues and needs. Since receiving start-up funding from the National Lesbian and Gay Community Funding Partnership in 1996, the Equity Fund has directed more than $180,000 to nonprofit organizations working on GLBT issues.

The next deadline for applications is Sept. 15, 2007. For application information, call Jennifer Southard of the Maine Community Foundation at 761-2440 or visit www.mainecf.org.

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