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Gay Center Faces Funding Shortfall

Gay Center Faces Funding Shortfall

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The new director of Salt Lake City's Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community Center of Utah is vowing to keep the doors open.

The center is facing a severe funding shortfall, and that's threatening its social and outreach programs.

Director Valarie Larabee says there's about 10-thousand-500 dollars in the bank, but monthly expenses are 20-thousand dollars.

She has launched an aggressive fund-raising drive to keep the center viable.

Larabee's goal is to raise 160-thousand dollars by December 31st.

That, she said, would fund the center through June, providing enough of a cushion to plan ahead.

Board chairwoman Maryann Martindale says the center has been operating "bare-bones" and month-to-month for some time.

She says it hasn't been able to recoup the loss of as much as 25 percent of its budget when a tobacco prevention grant wasn't renewed. That grant would have provided 100-thousand dollars per year for two more years.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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