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Honored for contributions to gay community

A champion for tolerance toward people with AIDs and a community leader who advocated that gay students be included under the school board's anti-bullying policy are among those to be honored next week for their contributions to the gay and lesbian community.

Frank Kalian, a longtime activist in lesbian and gay affairs; Kelley Doherty, chairwoman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Equity Committee; the Rev. Debbie Warren, founder and president of the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network, Stephen Shoemaker, senior minister at Myers Park Baptist Church; and Rabbi Judy Schindler of Temple Beth-El have been named recipients of the 2008 Charlotte Business Guild/Don King Community Service Award.

The award, named for long-time gay community leader Don King of the Charlotte Observer, annually recognizes a man, a woman and business for service to the Charlotte lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community.

As part of the King award, the Charlotte Business Guild for the first time ecognized a straight ally with a “Bridge Builder” Award. Shoemaker and Schindler are the recipients.

“We are very proud to honor these outstanding individuals who have done so much to improve the quality life, not just for the Charlotte LGBT community but for the entire community,” said Bert Woodard, Charlotte Business Guild president.

Kalian, Doherty, Warren, Shoemaker, and Schindler will officially receive their awards on Tuesday at a special reception at VanLandingham Estate in Plaza-Midwood.

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