NYC Homeless Shelter For LGBT Youth To Name Residence For Bea Arthur
The Ali Forney Center, NYC's homeless shelter for LGBT youth, is naming one of their residences for the late Bea Arthur. Via press release:
The Ali Forney Center (AFC), the nation's largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth, will formally announce it's plan to name a residence for LGBT youth in honor of Bea Arthur at her memorial service on September 14th at the Majestic Theater in New York City. The Ali Forney Center is working with a group of Bea's close friends and colleagues to plan the memorial service. "Bea Arthur was tremendously kind and generous to the Ali Forney Center" says Carl Siciliano, AFC Founder and Executive Director. "The caring and concern that Bea expressed for our kids meant the world to us, and we are thrilled to be able to give honor to her memory in this way".
In November of 2005, Bea flew to New York City from her home in Los Angeles in order to give a special benefit performance of her one-woman show. The performance raised over $40,000 for the Ali Forney Center. In an interview for Next Magazine Bea explained her decision to offer her support "I'm very, very involved in charities involving youth and the plight of foster children. But these kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay, or transgender - this organization really is saving lives." Bea continued to offer her support, both as a donor and as an advocate. In one of her very last interviews, published in the New York Blade in May 2008, Bea spoke with pride of having done the benefit for AFC, and indicated that she would do anything to help gay kids disowned by their parents.